That Time I had 36hrs in London {with no kids}

Yeah, you know...that time? You don't remember? Oh - that's because my mind was still blown that I was shooting in London!. Earlier this week, I had a two day shoot for SiriusDecisions, which has previously invited me to shoot in San Francisco, San Diego, Nashville and soon-to-be Austin. At the end of the shoot, I tacked on an extra day to enjoy London with my hubby. A dear friend recommended Dukes Bar for their insane classic martini and it did not disappoint.

A little back story is that Dave and I love a good martini. We have attempted more vodka and gin tastings than we can count with the goal of perfecting the martini. And then there was Dukes.

They start with frozen martini glasses. And frozen vodka. Then there is the absolutely beautiful cart they present in front of you. And the rest is, well...the picture tells the story. Prepare for your mouth to water:

09.2016-dukes martini bar-behind the scenes-brooke bryand photography-commercial lifestyle photographer-martini photography-BBP_4330_stomp
09.2016-dukes martini bar-behind the scenes-brooke bryand photography-commercial lifestyle photographer-martini photography-BBP_4337_stomp

The other treat we experienced was at Sketch London. This was a recommendation from a dear friend who is an uber creative (Jenn Topliff, 13Creative) and it was one of the best recommendations I have EVER received!!! Go. Right now. GO! 

09.2016-raleigh corporate lifestyle photographer-brooke bryand photography-commercial lifestyle photographer_sketch london_0001

Taking Time...

brooke bryand photography | stock photography | motivational quote inspiration stop time inspire | raleigh corporate lifestyle photographer As I have settled into Raleigh over the last four months, I have been pleasantly surprised at how easy it has been to slow down life. My fear in moving cross-country in search of a more simple existence was that we create our own hamster wheels on which to run. We are 100% responsible for our own speed, so why would I change as a person just by changing geography?

It turns out, in my one-woman-perfectly-scientific-experiment, geography does indeed play a significant factor. My conclusion? There are simply more hours in the day in North Carolina. Okay, that may not be the scientific answer, but the pace of life would have you question it. Yes, we still work, groceries still have to be purchased and school supplies procured, but I'm not rushed. I have time to take the kids to the pool, or come home after school and just play. The culture isn't one of laziness, but it is one that appreciates the simplicity of enjoying where you are in the moment. I (typically!) don't feel like I'm doing one activity just to rush to the next and that is unbelievably refreshing.

Could this mindset be transferred to San Francisco? Absolutely. But I don't think San Francisco envies this behavior, the same way Raleigh doesn't seem to envy the busy city life. They are exclusively wonderful in their own environments with neither being better or worse.

As I edited the photo at the top of this page, I was reminded how much my artistic expression has expanded since moving here simply by giving myself the space to explore, to notice, and to experiment without feeling rushed or guilty that I should be doing something else. I'm not writing this to talk anyone into moving to Raleigh nor to suggest everyone else is going about life all wrong if your pace is faster than my own. I'm simply reflecting on how my life has become richer by slowing down and noticing what I desire for this chapter of life. I hope it inspires you to explore something you've been putting off, whether it be taking a class, playing a sport, building a fort with your kids or surprising your spouse with a spontaneous act of adoration.

And zen must come to a pause as I battle the school pick-up line. Some things, as it turns out, are the same from coast-to-coast. :)

Father's Day Gift {Personal} San Francisco Family Photographer

My hubby and I met when we were 19 years old at the beginning of our freshman year at Boston College. Yep, 19. I'm now 34 and still so completely head-over-heels in love with my hubby it makes my heart sing! Although I love being with Dave alone (we have a standing Saturday date-night that I look forward to all week), I also adore seeing him as a Dad. We have never been present-people. Or rather I should say we have never been purchased present people. When we were in college, we would make each other things for Christmas and take each other places for our birthdays. In fact, the first "big" trip I took Dave on was to none other than San Francisco! I think we were 20 years old when we flew here from Boston...I remember being a nervous wreck to ask his parents if we could go together (and I'm sure they giggled at my nerves).

Anyways, I mention this because for Father's Day this year I decided to collaborate with our 2.5 year old son, Cal, to make something special for Daddy Dave. Enjoy!