Part of Me Blog


Hayden Kate's Nursery

HOME + LIFESTYLElissa-anglinComment

My niece Hayden Kate is due any day now so last week I wanted to capture a few images of my sister, Layne, at her roundest and loveliest yet. :) I am OBSESSED with the gorgeous wallpaper she put in her nursery so I asked Layne if she wouldn't mind sharing a bit about Hayden's room here on my blog! 

So, here is Layne with a little tour of Hayden's room!

When I started dreaming of the little room I would soon rock my sweet baby in, my first thought was that I wanted it to be a place that felt warm and peaceful.  If you have seen other parts of my house- this would make sense to you- my husband will kindly refer to it as “50 Shades of Blue.”  Ha. I like the color blue and honestly had to really focus on not making her room totally blue.  I was unsure of where to start and my mom gave me the advice of “Find something you love and go from there!”

So my search began and while browsing Pinterest, I came across this blog where she featured a floral wallpaper used in her daughters room that I loved.  After browsing the Ellie Cashman wallpapers, blowing up my mom and sisters' phones, I finally settled on the Dark Floral II Black Saturated XL (200%) Wallpaper .

The rest of the room flowed from there!  Because I splurged a little on the wallpaper, to stay under the budget, we found a lot of the other items at estate sales, Craigslist, and garage sales!  I cannot take credit for all of it, I had a lot of help from my talented family and friends.  

Crib: Craigslist find- distressed with “Dust of Ages”

Bedding: Target, our goal was to keep it clean and simple!



Plates: Peter Rabbit plates, my Mom scored these at an estate sale!

Mobile:  Made by my sister Lauren and I- but lets be real, mostly her!  My favorite part about it is the blue band at the top- It is my belt I wore with my wedding dress that Lauren also made. 

Mirror: Garage Sale, again scored by my Mom

Unicorn: Target

Curtains: TJ Maxx

Dresser:  Antique store find by my Momma (she did a lot of hunting for me:))

Chandelier:  Pottery Barn Kids, bought ages ago in college!!!

Glider: Gift from my in-laws from Babies 'R' Us

Quilted Blanket:  Made by my talented sister.  I am in love with the details!!!

Toy shelf:  Garage Sale find! 

Toy bins: Target

Shelf: piece of wood from a friends old house (Whitworths)

“You are my Greatest Adventure” painting: made by my talented momma!!

Wreath:  One of my favorite pieces of her room.  This wreath was my sister, Lauren's, idea.  At my Lubbock shower ladies wrote prayers on leaves for Hayden Kate.  Their words will be cherished forever and to know HK’s room is covered in prayers puts this mommas heart at peace. The flowers were also crafted at the shower! Lauren took both the leaves and the flowers and created the most beautiful, meaningful wreath. 

Owl: Target

Blocks: Estate Sales, you guessed it- my momma found them!

“Hayden Kate” bunny sign and “Isn’t She Lovely”:  Maggie McMurry with: @lettermemarie on Instagram

“Hayden Kate” banner:  made by my sister Lauren

China cabinet : a piece of furniture from the house we grew up in


I feel so blessed to get to bring Hayden Kate home to a room filled with love, prayers, and awaited adventures.  While I feel like her room itself is a gift, the gift of life from our Savior far exceeds anything I could add or put into her room.  We feel extremely blessed and excited to meet our baby girl!

wedding photography sticker shock?

HOME + LIFESTYLE, PHOTOGRAPHYlissa-anglin4 Comments

I have a confession to make. I LOVE my job, but I have an irrational fear of talking about it in public. More specifically, I have a fear of telling someone I just met that I am a "wedding photographer". Because, inevitably, they know someone who is getting married- and in my new friend's good nature, they want to help out their engaged and wedding-planning friend. So, the conversation usually goes something like this:

New Friend: Oh, you're a wedding photographer? My cousin is getting married...

Me: Yeah, I have a great job. Congrats to your cousin!

New Friend: How much do you charge?

Me, deep breath: Well, I have several different packages, and it really depends on what they are needing for their wedding....(by this time the new friend has tuned me out completely, and mostly deciding I said "I'm super expensive")

This is an assumption. But typically by the time I have finished my sentence, they're done. With the whole idea in general. Now, before you tell me I need a new approach- this is a situation I've been in a bazillion times- and I'm going into my 10th year as a full-time wedding photographer now, so I've learned the ropes on discussing these things. 


I got an email from a distraught bride last night and I identified completely with her. It wasn't that long ago that I was a bride myself, experiencing the same situation. Here's how her email read:

Hi Lissa, I'm currently trying to conduct a little research on wedding photography and I can't help but feel completely defeated about the pricing! Every talented photographer in the area has a minimum of $2700 and the photographers within my budget frankly, aren't very good. Do you know of any photographers that are closer to 2,000 or so? Would you be will to work with me on the price at all? I'm not typically a haggler. But I just cannot afford 3,000 for a photographer. I know it's hard work and the equipment and labor add up. So I understand completely if you can't come down at all in pricing. Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated! I'm at a total loss! Thank you so much. 

Ugh. I feel for you, bride. I really do- because I remember what it was like when I was wedding planning. I felt like anything related to weddings was automatically marked up 1000%. I could go into WHY pricing for wedding-related things are the the way they are, but this isn't the blog post for that. What I want to say today is this:

1. I love this email. It is completely transparent and unassuming, and I so appreciate that. I try to also be transparent and unassuming with my clients, because I know and value my work, and so I do not feel threatened by this bride's words- rather, I really appreciate her honesty! 

2. I love that she knows her budget and wants to stick with it. 

3. I love that she is asking for a custom package (in her words, "haggling"). And I have a bit to say about it:

One of the beautiful things about my job is that I get to make the rules. I make custom packages ALL THE TIME. There are many times when I don't hear back from a bride and I'm sure it's because I was over their budget. Who knows what would happen if they emailed me back to say so? We might just end up creating a package that is perfect for them, or maybe not (I'm not afraid to tell someone I don't feel like I can serve them well and stay within their budget)- BUT I would love to give them a quote and get a shot at it. For goodness sakes, THIS IS HOW I MAKE MY LIVING. Before every wedding, Shawn and I will literally stop and pray and thank the Lord for giving us more work. We are both self-employed, and because of that, we are ultra-aware of how lucky we are when we GET to WORK. 

Here was my response to the bride:

I am so sorry to hear that you’ve had a hard time finding someone within your budget, and I hate that you are so discouraged- that’s the last thing you want to experience when planning your wedding! I was once a bride and remember feeling the sticker shock when it came to several things. My packages do start at 2800.00 for 2 photographers, 6 hours of coverage (and the digital files of your images). I do make custom packages all the time- but it’s likely that I would have to do a smaller amount of coverage (like 4 hours) to get within the 2000.00 range. 
I do have some advice- as a past bride and a professional photographer who has seen and shot hundreds of weddings:
1) With photography, you will get what you pay for. Hire the best photographer you can for your budget. (You probably know this, haha!) The first few years of my business I had 1500.00 packages (I’m now in year 10)- so you just need to find me 8 years ago, haha! Don’t worry I will help with that :)
2) Prioritize your top 3 things and spend money on those. The rest just isn’t as important. I have seen expensive wedding shoes get muddy, favors unseen by guests and left in a huge pile after the wedding, fake flowers that looked (and photographed) like real ones, borrowed wedding veils that saved brides several hundred dollars, and the list goes on. Obviously, I think photography is very important (and I think you do too). A great photographer can make an ugly room look better than any extra decor could. :)
3) Don’t be afraid to ask a photographer to give you a quote based on your budget- I love it when this happens, because I love my job and want to work! This time, though, I don’t think I would be able to give you the amount of coverage that you’d need AND do it within your budget. (Unless you are having a shorter/smaller wedding).
I checked with some talented friends I know and they have your date available and should have something within your budget. :)
(Names of awesome friends)
I hope that helps and that your discouragement turns into excitement over the great photographer you booked! Best wishes and congrats!

So there you go. My short advice to brides with a budget (which is EVERY bride). Hire the best photographer you can and don't spend your money on favors no one will see or take home. :)

vendor spotlight! • wedding coordinator Jill Leven

HOME + LIFESTYLElissa-anglinComment

I have been a full-time wedding photographer for 8 years now- shooting most of my weddings here in Lubbock, so I figured it was high time to start featuring some of the awesome people I have the pleasure of getting to work with wedding after wedding. It takes a special individual to feed off the unique mixture of stress and excitement that a wedding brings (I never thought I would love it so much, actually!)- and this is where you will find some of the people that make it all happen- the vendors! 

On a wedding day, there will be at least 1 thing not go as planned. This is normal, but it's not something that most brides put into consideration during all those months they spend planning their big day. Enter my personal hero of the wedding day- the wedding coordinator. And today, I am introducing you to one of the very best- Jill Leven, with Eat, Drink, and Be Marry. Jill also owns Little White Invite- where she creates beautiful custom stationery for her couples. I always love photographing her work!

I have had the pleasure of working with Jill on some of my favorite weddings ever. Why are they my favorite weddings? Quite possibly because of this wonderful woman. Jill is not only a very nice person (it matters!), but she is a true professional and always, always executes with excellence-- curating weddings that are special, creative, and fun. I asked her a few questions, so enjoy her responses below! 

What made you want to be a wedding planner?

I wanted to be a wedding planner because it was a good blend of the creative side of me and the organized side.  I always had a knack for taking a large amount of stuff, people, chaos (LOL), *whatever* and turning it into something that was organized and efficient for everyone.  I also wanted to own my own business.  I come from a long line of entrepreneurs and wanted that for myself.   

EDITOR'S NOTE: I'm sure Jill had no idea I was shooting these images of her- I was most likely checking my light/exposure and happened to capture that face of PURE CONCENTRATION. :) Please know we'd all been on our feet for at least 8 hours at this point. Sorry, Jill- not a glamour shot but it does prove that you work your tail off!


How long have you been a wedding planner?

I officially opened my business in 2007, but I started out doing corporate event planning in 1999 (and organizing pantries, closets, etc. since birth--LOL!)

What is your favorite part about your job?

I actually have four favorite things:

1.  When I get to say "It's time!" before the ceremony starts to the bride and groom. Their reaction is priceless. Everything that we worked for has led up to that moment and it's at that time that it really "hits" them...this is really happening.  I LOVE getting to say those two words. 

2. At the end of the night, just before I open the doors to send the bride and groom out for their grand exit through their guests and give them a hug and thank them for letting me be a part of it all, they tell me that what just happened was the greatest day of their lives and they couldn't imagine anything more perfect!  How cool is that?!?!

3. When a random guest hunts me down at the reception to ask if I'm the wedding planner and they tell me that was the best wedding they've ever been to!  Woo hoo!!!  I love that!  

4. Telling whomever is paying for the wedding they are under budget.  LOL!  But seriously, it makes them really happy. 


What do you feel is the most challenging part of wedding planning for brides?

Hands-down, the guest list. It is so much work to gather addresses for everyone, make sure they don't overlook anyone, and if they have to cut guests for budget reasons/space reasons, it becomes a big challenge to have to pick and choose people that are close to them.

What is your favorite wedding trend this year in weddings and/or wedding stationery?

My favorite trend really isn't a trend; it is when something is consistently carried out throughout the wedding. Whether it's a monogram, design, pattern, etc.…little details like that that carry through from the Save the Dates all the way through to the favors at the end of the night, makes a big impact to me. I also like things are just a little bit different, like a dessert bar instead of just cake. Or a midnight snack to take home at the end of the night. Little unexpected details always make for a great event.


What is something that is on your wedding planning bucket list?

Well, a bride and groom departing in a helicopter was #1 on my list, but I got the pleasure of checking that off my list this past summer.  As for what's still pending...a HUGE (and I mean H-U-G-E fireworks display send off), a sky lantern release, a wedding in the woods where a sit down dinner takes place before the ceremony, a popular rock star/band surprising the bride and groom to perform their first dance song, to have (at least) one of my weddings featured in Martha Stewart Weddings magazine, and to have my own reality TV show about my businesses and my life. Yeah, I dream big!  ;-)

(To check out the rest of the helicopter-exit wedding, click HERE.)


Anything else you’d like to share?

I want everyone to know that I take it as a huge honor when someone books me for their wedding. To me, it's a once-in-a-lifetime deal and I want to make sure every aspect of it is right in every way for the couple, their families, and their guests.  (And I love exclamation points!  Anyone that's ever emailed me or texted me knows this is a given!  See, there I go again!)


Thank you so much, Jill! And brides, PLEASE call her. You need her, I promise!

Jill Leven, CPWP


HOME + LIFESTYLElissa-anglinComment

For a while now, I've been wanting to schedule another How To Work It Workshop- a one-day workshop where I teach people the basics of photography. Each time I've hosted this workshop, it has been amazing to watch my "students" really understand their equipment and actually shoot the images they have been wanting to shoot. And once they've finished the course, it seems there is always more they want to know! 

On top of that, having two kiddos and two businesses to manage has really cut into any "free time" I  had, and so it's been tough to find a good time to do another workshop. So, enter Mentor Sessions! I am so super excited about these!

Pick My Brain Mentor Sessions are hourly, ask-me-anything-you-want sessions that we can schedule in-person (if you're in the Lubbock area), over the phone, or on Skype. I love to teach and help people, and this will allow me to really focus on what you need help with the most. What can we talk about? Here are some ideas:

shooting weddings // workflow // pricing // equipment // photography basics // running a profitable business // working with your spouse // how to photograph your kids // working with other vendors // creating and keeping consistent clients // lightroom and photoshop // designing albums // being a working mom // anything small business

Optional subjects may include:

best series on Netflix // how to make a killer playlist while you're editing // changing a diaper in 30 degree weather // caffeine addiction // learning things the hard way // God and faith // the lack of trees in lubbock // losing weight without dieting or exercising (still figuring this out) // donuts // personality profiles // donuts...maybe I'll just ask to be paid in donuts...

Haha, I am a pretty open book, so there is not much I wouldn't love to talk about!

Annnnnnnnnd, since this is a new thing, I'm going to GIVE AWAY 1 free hour! Here's what you need to do to be entered:

1) Share this blog post on Facebook and tag any friends you think might be interested. Here is the link to share:

2) Follow @lissaanglinphoto on Instagram, and repost the Pick My Brain image on your Insta. Tag 3 friends. 

That's it!

I'll pick a winner on January 31 @ 10 pm!

If you're interested in booking a Pick My Brain Mentor Session, just use the contact form on my website or email me at!