the blog

Thank You’s + Wedding Invitations

I am obsessed with handwritten thank you notes. I believe there is power in snail mail for hundreds of reasons; but that will have to be for another blog post. (Because I would roll on and on and on and on and on and on about it.)

Because of my love of the good old USPS, it was a no brainer when Katie from Basic Invite reached out to me to ask if I would be interested in testing out their online card design system. Thousands of thank you notes at my fingertips? Absolutely.

Basic Invite, based out of Southern Utah (USA Based businesses for the win!), has gone above and beyond the “template” world of online ordering. They have hundreds of gorgeous designs that you can 100% completely totally customize to your liking. They have 180+ colors to chose from (and they’ll even mail you a handy printed color sheet!) and over 100 fonts which makes designing exactly what you want super easy.

So Basically, I have said goodbye to boring thank you notes. (“Basic”ally, see what I did there? ūüėČ )

And the best part for all of my brides out there, they have FULL wedding invitation suites! Save the dates, invitations, RSVP card, envelopes, accommodations, etc. So if you want a wedding invitation that is truly you, but don’t quite have it in the budget to splurge on an artist designed fully custom suite, Basic Invite is an amazing option! They’ll even mail you printed samples so you don’t have to guess from a computer screen how it will print!

I have already used every single one of my thank you cards (good thing I photographed them as soon as they arrived!) and can’t wait to order more. I am especially excited to try out their “Modern Clear” line which launched shortly after I placed my first order.

(Full disclosure, I didn’t take the picture above. But I am so obsessed with this clear print that I needed to share it so Katie sent me a stock photo from the Basic Invite collection!).

Basic Invite also sent custom notecards to all of the gals that went to Colorado with us. So obviously, I had to take a photo of my favorite one (because, coffee!) with the Colorado Red Rocks.

Katie was also sweet enough to share a discount code for all of you to receive 15% off your order! Just input 15FF51 at checkout!

Happy Snail Mail!

Refresh: The Anti-Hustle

 colorado springs wedding photographer
Dress: Lovely Bride | Florals: Layers of Lovely | Hair & Make-up: Hey Lovely Makeup
hus·tle / verb
force (someone) to move hurriedly or unceremoniously in a specified direction.
We live in the world of “the hustle”. It is preached and praised to hustle for our businesses. But I believe hand-in-hand with hustle, we¬†must find people and places to relax, refresh, and refuel.
And that is exactly what our annual Colorado week is for. Along with a handful of our favorite fellow photography business owners, we pack up our bags, head for cooler weather, and spend a solid week with the slowest internet 2017 can find. We shoot, laugh, explore, try out new things, talk through old things, brainstorm, and we all leave feeling as much as possible like Leo Di Puprio in this picture below.
When your business is your life, and your life your business, it is incredibly hard to truly turn off. “Paid Vacation Days” where we can leave the office and not think about a single work thing for 7 days until we walk back in the door just don’t exist. And thats okay. In fact, in the grand scheme of being a business owner, I prefer it. But it does require more intentionality in turning off work, separating personal life, and ensuring we care for ourselves, not just our business.
You don’t have to escape to the Rockys to do this, but I must say, fresh mountain air certainly helps. So does a spa day, a bottle of tequila, some fresh limes, and friends who make you laugh until you cry.
We will be showing more of our trip over the next few weeks (including our first roll of film!). In the meantime, even if you can’t jet off for a solid week away, I want to encourage you to set aside some relaxation time: get a manicure, go for a walk without your phone, grab a glass of wine with a friend and shake hands on no business talk. I promise, it will be worth it.

Welcome Back to the Smith House Photography Blog!


When you need great blog photography, you need great props! We love this custom watercolor notebook from May Designs, a local business based in Austin, Texas. We use this as our long-term creative calendar to track goals, wedding photography booked for the year, books read, and more. And yes, this cute little May Designs notebook is almost always sitting alongside our canon camera gear and a cup of coffee.

“You MUST blog.”

This line sounds a little bit like it should have come from Yoda, but it didn’t. These three words were coming from everyone possible in the photography/creative world. Blogging was the number one marketing strategy I heard over and over and over again when I first started this little photography business 3 years ago. Everyone who said it has slightly different advice, but the bottom line was always the same:¬†blog everything you do, every shoot, every wedding, every meal you eat, and every thing you could possibly have to teach someone.

So I tried. We tried to post “at least twice a week” (and still didn’t feel adequate because we were continually told blogging every day is better). I also tried to take in every piece of blogging advice I could get, which, if you have ever gotten advice about anything in life, I am sure you can understand that every person has something contradictory to say from the previous advice-giver which makes finding GOOD advice incredibly difficult.

After spending way too much time (and energy) on a platform that was bringing more stress than clients, Ryan and I decided it was best to take a hiatus from blogging. We pulled the blog link down off our website, archived our “things you must blog” list, and threw up the big “Peace-Out” fingers to the anxiety it was bringing.¬†And we haven’t once regretted it.¬†

But now we’re back (from outer space… thanks for letting me drop those I Survive Lyrics).

We spent more than a year out of the blog-o-sphere and in that time we have learned a lot of things about ourselves, about our business, about what purpose a blog would serve us and our business no matter what anyone else said we or our blog should be doing.

So get excited. We certainly are. We can’t wait to start sharing our business and our lives with you again. But this go-round, we are doing it entirely on our own terms, and honestly, we think you’ll like it better this way.

And a final note, because we know how flippin’ cute it is and we know you want the scoop: that perfect watercolor notebook is from May Designs!