Archive for December, 2011

2011: You Were Good to Me

December 30

I must admit, I have had a certain amount of anxiety as I’ve thought about what to post for my 2011 review. How do I accurately summarize these past 12 months? How could I even begin to do this year justice through words/photos? This task seems insurmountable in more ways than one but I have promised myself that I will write to my heart’s content because I know a year from now I will look back and appreciate that I took the time to look  back at this past year. 2011 has been one amazing year for me and yet, those words don’t even begin to scratch the surface.

2011 changed me.

I am generally a person who is in good spirits and kicking off 2011 was no exception. I had closed the doors to 2010 – one of my more difficult, challenging, which way is up? years. In 2010, it felt like my heart was cracked into big, heavy pieces and I was desperately trying to find a way, and quickly, to sew them back together. I was still very much a happy person but I struggled because at the end of the day, I didn’t feel like me. Something was off. I was scared to believe in myself and worried that harnessing any potential I had was selfish.

As hard as 2010 was, I am so grateful for that year. 2010 planted the seeds for my dreams to take flight in 2011.

January was good to me. I ran my first full marathon in Disney World with my big sister, Beth, and looking back now at these photos, my heart beams with pride. I see a Caitlin that was ready.  I was ready and finally open to big and exciting changes in my life. I’ve said it before but signing up to run my first marathon was easily one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Training during Sept ’10-January ’11 not only made me stronger physically but it taught me 1) I am not my fears and 2) My potential is huge. Yours is too, ya know? You reading this right now. Don’t doubt how powerful you are for a second.

[2011 is the year I decided I am worth it.]

February kicked off with a storm. No really – we had a terrible ice storm the first week of February here in Indianapolis. I went to grab my Raybans that I had left in my car overnight and much like a piece of ice, the lid cracked off of the case.  It was nuts and ridiculous. I began photographing babies more in February and fell in love. Photographing babies is a beautiful, sometimes very time consuming (though I wouldn’t trade it for anything) thing. Capturing babies can be a bit of a waiting game but it is a style of photography that robbed a small corner of my heart. My sweet nephew, Noah, was grow-grow-growing in Makenzie’s tummy. The excitement of adding a baby to the Sullivan clan was so very high. Not to mention my parents were becoming grandparents for the first time! I couldn’t wait to see my big brother, David, as a Dad and I had no idea at this time how in love we’d be with that bun in the oven…

[Here my nerdy science lab teacher of a Mother (love you, Mama!) was gifting Dave and Makenzie with one of Noah’s first Halloween costumes – a spacesuit. Welcome to the Sullivan’s, Makenzie! We’ve got a lot of nerd in us! I love the excitement here.]

[Sweet baby Hudson]

[A tiny passage I wrote last February on my old blog that I love:]

[I AM post]

 

February also happens to be the month I decided to do Making Brands Happen with Lara Casey, Emily Ley and Cathy Olson. This was the game changer if there ever was one. Ever since I had been to Making Things Happen in November of 2010, I had wanted to take a leap. I knew my branding wasn’t doing my work justice. In fact, everything about my brand at the time (in my opinion) said I was too scared to stand out. My gut was telling me that it was the time to rebrand. I took a leap of faith and every day another stair appears. God is good and my future is bright!

 [One of many questions I answered during my rebranding process and oh how my heart sings to revisit this now!]

March brought spring and the promise of sunshine. I continued to work on my rebranding while simultaneously working on myself. I learned pretty quickly on that rebranding is no walk in the park but if you take the time to dig deep and ask yourself some of the harder questions, you hard work will shine through and speak to your ideal client. For many reasons, March turned my world around.

[I made this video of David, Makenzie and little baby Noah who was just months away from joining us. I’ve explored video several times in 2011 and while I will be quick to admit I am no expert, it is nice to have an outlet outside of photography once in a while to explore and stay inspired. This video still gives me goosebumps and I’ll cherish it forever.]

[I also took their maternity photos.]

[And wrote my sweet nephew a letter…]

Dear Noah,

You have any idea how much of a blessing you are already in my life?  Over the weekend, B and I went to see your parents new place. We saw your nursery in it’s most beginning stage. Books, stuffed Donald Duck and Mickey, baby clothes and little baby shoes…all waiting for you to arrive. Your mama showed us your very first pair of swimming trunks. They’re the size of my thigh, Noah! You are going to be so tiny and perfect.

A couple of things..

Always be good to your mama. She loves you like no one else ever will.

Your dad is honestly one of the smartest guys I know. Learn as much as you can from him. Soak every ounce of him in.  And if you ever get in trouble with him, just get the man a 100 grand. He loves those!

You can never say I Love You enough.

Fall is the best season, Christmas is the greatest holiday and George is the coolest Beatle…

..SO many people are anxiously awaiting your arrival. Won’t be long little guy. Can’t wait to squeeze you and love all on you.

All my heart little Noah,

xxxo Aunt Caity

I’d be remiss if I forgot to mention that I watched a sweet little babe named Ripley a couple times a week starting late March and on into late May. This little guy makes my heart happy and I so loved our weekly dates and cuddles.

April can aptly be summed up by the following.

 

April brought so much excitement and a daily, heaping dose of the best kind of butterflies in my tummy. The kind that makes you excited to jump out of bed in the morning. Between MBH meetings/consults, baby Noah coming soon, butterflies galore in my tummy, seeing Lil Wayne & Nicki Minaj in concert (one of my favorite 2011 memories), I was FIRED UP.  I was beginning to see my new brand come to life and I could see my confidence in myself growing. Better yet, thanks to Lara, Emily, the MTH community, my family, my wonderful friends, a special someone and finally myself (!!), I began believing in my worth. I photographed lots of happiness this month.

[Lisa + Dustin’s engagement shoot took place in CHI – crossed that off my 2011 goal list.]

May. Ahh yes – the month this world became a better place. My nephew Noah arrived and I fell in love. My brother became a Dad and I became an Aunt for the first time. I had the honor of being in the delivery room to document baby Noah’s birth. He arrived on 5/19/2011 at 4:26 PM, weighing 7 lbs 5 in and was 20 inches long. A serious bundle of love!

[I also made this video of his birth.]

[Have you met my mother before? We adore her. I  made this video of her and us kids (I’ve got 3 older siblings!) for Mother’s Day.]

June and July are one big blur. They were the first summer months and things really started to pick up. I photographed many happy faces…

 [My nephew Noah’s newborn photos]

[I will tell you only that these photos make me blush 🙂 ]

[My sister and I made this video to celebrate life. Every day is reason to celebrate.]

I was still chugging along with my brand. Emily, Lara and I had put together my new brand board which is the foundation on which my new brand was built. We were in the process of pulling together finals details for my launch and web presence. There were many hours spent gathering images, resizing for the web, preparing posts for my new blog, writing, more writing, shooting in between and keeping up with my business. These months were tiring but I grew so very much and was more excited than ever to launch my new brand. We set a date to launch: August 8th.

[From a post I wrote on my old blog in July, weeks before I launched.]

Sidenote: July also happens to be the month in which I saw Bon Iver from the 3rd row at the Murat. Hands down, one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen and one of the best nights I can remember from 2011.

Oh August, you were so kind. August was my launch month and such a proud moment in time for me. When I began the rebranding process in February, I admittedly didn’t quite understand what I was getting myself into. To rebrand so that it will be worthwhile in the end, the process takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight. By the time August came around and I launched, I was over the moon. Truly.

[A new blog and site that match my heart.]

[A bright and colorful brand that makes my heart and my work sing.]

[From my launch post. God is so good!]

I was so thrilled to share a styled shoot that was a collaboration of many talents: April Foster, Lisa Moyer aka The Cupcake Girl, Kiralee Hubbard of Eyemax and Danielle Klotz of Pink Poppy Ink. This was some of my favorite work of 2011.

Greetings, September!  The month I turned a quarter century old.

I would have thought turning 25 would have been a little more scary. 25 is a no doubt a milestone birthday. After 25, the only big birthdays left are 30, 40, 50 and well..you get the picture. I had the most amazing birthday celebration with friends and family. I am happier than ever at 25 and ready and willing for all that is to come!

(photo taken by the wonderful Amanda Wilcher)

September was also the month I started training for my second marathon and spearheaded B.R.A.V.E. – Biking & Running for the Advancement of Vision and Education. I knew that when I signed up to run my second marathon (which is in just 9 days, by the way!!) that I wanted to run for a cause. I have teamed up with Kyle and we are raising money for the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. All proceeds are going directly to the ISBVI to help purchase technology and assistive devices for their students. It has been awesome to have a reason and cause outside of my own to run for this time around. You can donate in my name to B.R.A.V.E. by following this link

There was a lot of photo making in September & October.

In October, my work was published in Southern Weddings, a national magazine. One of my proudest moments of 2011!

And on to more photo making in October – one of the busiest months of the year for any photographer.

Every photo comes with a story and so many other moments. It is near impossible for me to pick favorites when narrowing down images from my year as there are literally thousands where these came from. Suffice it to say, I love my clients in a big way.

November  came and I was in full holiday swing. My parents 37th wedding anniversary was the 8th. I promised myself at the beginning of the year that I would take videos and photos for them. I was thrilled with the end results.

[I also made a video of my parents. Albeit rough around the edges, I wouldn’t trade it for a second.]

And finally, between November & December, I have been working on slowing down. 2011 has been one busy year for me and while I wouldn’t trade it for even a second, I look forward to taking these next few months of winter to recenter and refocus. To come back to the Caitlin I want to be in the morning when I awake and at night when I slip into bed. These past two months have been about pulling together my final weeks of marathon training and FAMILY.

[Noah is changing by the day. Here we are together on Christmas morning! I love him to the stars.]

And as 2011 comes to a close, I am thankful beyond words. I have grown so much as a person over the year. There have been many blessings this past year. There are people in my life that remind me every day God is good and they color my life. I am so grateful.I’ve tripped and fallen but 2011 has shown me more than any other time in my life that these times truly make me stronger, smarter and more ready than ever to greet each day with a smile on my face and warm and giving heart.

While I am sad to see 2011 go, I am ready for 2012 – for it’s challenges, it’s surprises and all of it’s opportunity. Here’s to knocking 2012 out of the park!

Thank you for taking a trip down memory lane with me. It means the world to share in this exciting time in my life with you all.

ALL MY HEART,

Caitlin

B.R.A.V.E. Update – Disney Marathon less than 10 days away!

December 29

Happy Thursday to you! So happy you’re here.

I will be running my second Disney Marathon next Sunday. Where, or where has time gone?! I remember suiting up for my long run, 60 minutes, during week 1 of my training. It seems like training started only  a few weeks ago. I was nervous and scared to undergo training for a full marathon again. Training is tough. It’s time consuming and it’s hard on your body but I say with confidence that the training I’ve undergone for this marathon has taught me so much about the woman I aspire to be and even more about my potential. For this, I am thankful.

I am raising money for the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. 100% or the proceeds made through B.R.A.V.E. (Kyle and I have raised $1270, almost 25% of our goal) and my fundraising efforts will go directly to the ISBVI to help fund the technology and assistive device needs of its students. Asking for money is definitely something I’m not very comfortable doing but I am doing this for the students and asking on their behalf.

I’d be so touched if you could donate before I run next Sunday. No donation is too small and I appreciate every single one to the stars. I know the ISBVI students will appreciate your generosity, too.

If you wish to donate to B.R.A.V.E., please follow the donation link below and click Sponsor Me.

In the most sincere way, thank you. It means the world to me!

xoxoxo

Caitlin

DONATION LINK: http://bit.ly/v7cOMd

 

Giveaway Winners!

December 22

The Kings: Rob, Meg, Vivian, Lucy & Johnny

December 20

Happy Tuesday to you! I’m really happy and excited today. I’m always excited during this time of the year! I’ve been looking forward to sharing this family with you guys.

These kiddos belong to my godfather and thus – they mean a whole lot to me. Actually, when I first started my business, it was with the advice of Meg that I started taking photos of kids. My first shoot I ever did was of these kiddos. Johnny was just a baby and I was fresh off the streets of Florence, Italy and had dreams in my heart to do something big. I went with my gut and agreed to take photos of Viv, Lucy & Johnny. Talk about the grace of God and the beauty of growth – take a look at the first photos I ever shot under my business. Really. God is good! I look forward to all of the growth I have ahead of me.

We took these photos at the home of these kiddos’ grandparents who happen to be my parents best friends. They live on a beautiful piece of land with a small creek that runs behind their home. I’m not certain why it has taken me this long to photograph there but I’m simply happy I made it happen. It was an overcast day with little sunshine. Viv, Lucy and Johnny (and their sweet pup, Fancy Nancy) made sunshine for us. We had fun. So much.

R, M, V, L & J – I love you all to the stars! It’s hard to believe the kids are this big already. I remember when Johnny was born while I was studying in Italy like it was yesterday. Time flies. There are so many memories between our families and I am so thankful. As always, we are so excited to celebrate the Holidays with you!

So much love and appreciation,

Caity

 

Andy, Courtney & Baby Girl to Come

December 13

So happy you’re here with me now. I’ve been really excited to share this family of 3 with you. Please, follow me for one second…

My older brother, David, had a handsome little boy named Noah last May with a beautiful girl named Makenzie.
Makenzie is Courtney’s younger sister.
David ‘s best friend is Andy. They have played in a band together since high school.
Andy and Courtney are expecting a little girl in January. Very soon. This little girl will be Noah’s cousin.
Or, in other words, two best friends and their sweet babes are related. Amazing, right?

Life is wild. Two years ago I didn’t have a clue we’d all be here today. That just so happens to be what I love most about life. I am so excited for the future. For the beautiful unknown.

A, C & precious little girl to come – I am SO, SO HAPPY FOR YOU ALL! Really. Happy tears filled my eyes as I saw these photos come together. I can’t think of two better people who deserve the world. I know baby girl will give you just that. I can’t wait to meet her and take way too many photos of her with baby Noah. It won’t be long. What an amazing Xmas gift to us all…

Here for you and thrilled beyond measure,

Caitlin

 

 

HARK!!! A Christmas Giveaway!

December 8

Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I adore every single thing about Christmas. The music, the movies, the eating, the wrapping, the baking, the decorating, the shopping, eating some more, countless hours spent with family and loved ones. I’ve been nuts about Christmas since I was a little girl. Every year it gives me warm fuzzies all over and in the Christmas spirit, I’m hosting my first ever giveaway here on my blog!

I should add that every thing I am giving away, I LOVE.

I am giving away two packages. #1: Couples session….

 

 

Please enjoy 2 movie tickets, vocal stylings of Zooey Deschanel via the irreplaceable ELF soundtrack, a yummy peppermint mocha or two and a 45 minute Couple Photography session with me!  *Session must take place in Indianapolis in the spring.

and #2: Family session….

 

Grab your family and bundle up with a cup of my favorite fro-yo in town, Huddles. Cuddle up at home in a cozy new throw and visit with Bing as you watch White Christmas, my all time favorite Christmas movie. Please also enjoy a 45 minute Family Photography session with me. *Session must take place in Indianapolis in the spring.

There is only one vote per person/per IP address. It’s super easy to enter. Here’s how:

1) Leave a comment below and please leave your name and let me know which package is on your Xmas wishlist: #1 or #2.

2) Tell me your favorite Christmas movie.

Is it really that simple?! Yes. It’s really that simple.

If you know someone who you think would enjoy package #1 or #2, you can vote to win the package for that person. That is definitely allowed and encouraged. Have your parents not had professional photos taken in 30 years? Vote to win package #1 for them! Do you know a newly engaged couple? Vote! Did your best friend just add a baby to their family and now they need updated photos? Vote to win package #2 for them! Of course you can and should vote to win a package for yourself. That is definitely encouraged, too!

Voting ends Tuesday, December 20th at midnight (EST). I’ll be puting each vote in a hat and picking at random and announcing the winners via video blog on Thursday, December 22nd.

Happy holidays!

Caitlin

Lisa & Dustin

December 7

Happy Wednesday! I’ve been looking forward to sharing this wedding with you.

Lisa and Dustin are down to earth, humbling people. They are incredibly kind, up for adventures and can often be found smiling. I learned this quickly when I took their engagement photos at the Rookery and around downtown Chicago last April. Lisa found me through my sister. Beth and Lisa rowed together at Purdue years ago and also lived with each other for a short stint. Ever since I met with Lisa and her sweet-as-can-be mother, I was so excited to work with this couple and their awesome extended families.

Lisa and Dustin’s wedding day was perfect. They married at Holy Cross Lutheran Church and had their reception at The Indianapolis Yacht Club. I’d never photographed at the IYC and was so excited for the opportunity and let me tell you – it did not disappoint. This venue is beyond gorgeous and every last detail planned by Lisa & Dustin pulled their reception together beautifully. With one of the more beautiful sunsets I’ve seen in a long time, Lisa and Dustin’s friends and family helped ring in their new marriage and bright future. It was an honor to watch it all take place.

L&D – It has been such a gift getting to know you guys. What I love about my job is I just never know who I’ll hear from in a day. Right around this time last year, I found a happy email in my inbox from Lisa and now, today, I have two new friends. I love that so much! So, so happy for you both and I look forward to all that is ahead for you guys! Thank you for brightening my life.

Lots of love,

Caitlin

Thank you so much to Micah Bell for all of your wonderful help!

Featured: Making Brands Happen Blog

December 6

Happy Tuesday!!!

I am so excited to see my brand featured over on the new Making Brands Happen blog today!  Without Lara, Emily and Cathy, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Click here to see my feature and read about my transformation. Also, make sure to check out the  Making Brands Happen sparkly new site that showcases many beautiful artists and brands that Lara, Emily and Cathy have crafted over the last year. So, so proud of these women.

 

 

I wanted to share my interview here on my blog as well. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing in this hugely exciting time in my life. xo

What excites you most about your new brand?

What I find most thrilling about my new brand is that it matches me so perfectly. My heart sings each time I post new work and see how it dances with my new brand. The colors, the graphics and the overall feel of my brand now sing Caitlin in a perfect melody and reflection of how you will find me today– bright, bold, confident and optimistic. I’m proud of who I am and I’m proud that my brand is an extension of my heart.

What has changed about you personally through this process?

Re-branding can be a stressful process when you are trying to nail down who you are for the world to see. That being said, the process is an experience I wouldn’t trade for a second. I did a lot of work on my heart throughout the re-branding process. For me, re-branding was never just about the colors, graphics and collateral. Creating a new identity meant that I first had to dig deep and figure out who I am and what I aspire to be each day. The most significant personal growth I’ve seen firsthand as a result of re-branding with MBH is that I 1000% believe in my worth and my talents today. I could never put a price tag on that.

Based on your transformation, what advice can you give others who are scared about branding?

Please throw away the self-limiting fears, small and large, that rob you of your potential.  Change and growth can be unsettling but are necessary for taking flight. Choosing to re-brand is scary for more than a few reasons, but take the leap! Trust in the process and watch your net appear. You are in good hands. Not only will you come out of this process a renewed artist and improved business owner, most importantly you will come out a better person.

Before you started this process, what were your fears? How did those fears change?

My biggest fear before starting this process was harnessing my potential. I knew deep down that my potential was big but I was scared and anxious to see that come to life. From the minute I got off the phone after my first consultation with Lara, all of that changed. I started embracing my potential and truly believing in my worth – not only as an artist, but also for what I bring to my work and my business as an individual.

Tell us what this experience with Lara and Emily meant to you – your testimonial.

Honestly, I couldn’t think of two better people to have brought my new brand to life. Lara and Emily saw me in a vulnerable state at Making Things Happen. I’ll never forget sitting next to Emily at Making Things Happen and Emily saying to me, “ You’ve got this. You’ve just got to figure out how to get there.” Before the re-branding process even began, these women knew me on a personal level and I knew they were on my team.  Lara and Emily saw potential in me before I saw it in myself.  Together, we brought that potential to light and it means the world to share this exciting time with these women.

Tell us about the most exciting moment in revealing your new brand:

The most exciting moment in revealing my new brand came seconds after my new blog and site went live. Lara, Emily, Cathy and I had spent that long day tweaking and prepping the sites to launch.  The second everything went live, the excitement of what was happening set in. I sat in my chair at my desk in silence and I could hear my heart race as my lips curled and my eyes welled up. The thought of sharing my journey with loved ones, dear friends, peers and strangers all over the world in that moment was such a gift.  I hope my story inspires others to dream big like the sky and to always, always believe in the beauty of your dreams.

How did you feel before your new brand transformation? How do you feel now?

Before my new brand transformation, success scared me and I was worried that embracing my potential was selfish. Now, I’m confident in myself and in my abilities. I look forward to the opportunities and challenges ahead and I am ready, willing and ecstatic for what is in store.

What does the future hold for you now?

When I envision my bright future, I see happiness, love and success. I look forward to watching my business and my heart continue to blossom as I navigate each day with a shiny new brand. A brand I couldn’t be more proud of…

Anything else you’d like to add?

Life really is too short. Do that which scares you most and watch yourself soar.

37 Years: Tom & Gretchen

December 2

These are my favorite photos of I’ve ever taken. For those of you who don’t know my parents, I am so excited to introduce you to them now.

I am nothing without these two. They are my rock and my foundation. Married in 1974, my parents have now been married 37 years. Together they made a big family that I’m more than proud to be a part of with four of us kids – Colin, David, Elizabeth (or most know as Beth and I affectionately call B) and myself. I’ve always loved being the youngest and adored being a part of our family. There is so much love between the 6 (that number is growing) of us and there are so, so many awesome memories. Way too many to count.

I am such a family girl and not only did I want to take photos for my parents this year to celebrate their 37th anniversary, I also wanted to be able to share my parents with those who come back to this blog, see my photos and keep up with my life. My heart is so invested in my family and with every photo I make and with every story I tell, my love for my family shines through without a doubt.

My parents met because, funny enough, my Mom dated one of my Dad’s roommates years and years ago. Their love story is classic and it is timeless. My dad swept my mom off her feet and twirled her and her long flowy curls in big circles and asked her to marry him. 37 years, 4 kids and 1 grandkid later…we are here. I’ve never been more grateful – for them, for their relationship and respect for one another and most importantly, for the way they’ve led us as a family.

Mom & Dad – Oh my. Where to start? First I’ve got to thank you for appeasing me by letting me drag you out into the cold and overcast light of day to take these photos. I knew it wasn’t the prettiest of days by any stretch of the imagination but that did not matter to me. What mattered was capturing YOU – right now in the most beautiful time of your lives. It has been one of the greatest gifts to see you guys as grandparents. I am so thrilled for Noah that he has you two. Like the rest of us who know and adore you, he is one lucky little man to have you and someday he will truly understand and appreciate that. The way you two love each other and love others is the best example I have in my life. You show me each and every day what it means to truly be a kind person and for this, I am forever grateful.

Truly, I could go on for days but that would leave us tired, hungry and with no time to get our xmas shopping done. And we all know how important that is in our family. Suffice it to say, I love you with my whole heart and always, always will.

All my love,

Caitybug