2019: Year in Review


2019 was a BIG year full of many accomplishments, changes and adventures!

I’m ready to welcome 2020 with open arms because there is SO much exciting stuff in store, but before I do that, I wanted to share a quick recap of my 2019 year highlights in both my professional life + Joey & I’s personal life! Enjoy!

Started the Year off in Kauai, Hawaii

Is there a better way to start the year off though really?! My husband Joey gets the opportunity to go to Kauai with his job each year, this was the first year he went. His job provides his plane ticket, meals & lodging while he’s working there, which means it really only takes a flight and cost of food for me to tag along with him, making it a pretty affordable trip for Hawaii! Joey worked most of the time of course but had Sundays off. He spent about 2 and a half weeks out there this year while I just flew in for a week due to not having much vacation time available at my day job at the time. It was such a blissful, beautiful, relaxing getaway from the freezing cold temps in January. We’re going again in 2020 and this time we both get to go for an entire 2 weeks! So excited for sunshine, beach time & Hawaiian snow cones!

Bought a new house in January

After months and months of searching and feeling like we were never going to find a new home near Atlanta, Indiana where Joey had taken a new job, we finally found the perfect place to call home. We’re in the country surrounded by cornfields and lots of open space, and Joey has his barn. We love our new home in Tipton County…keep scrolling down the blog to see some of the remodels we’ve made on it since!

Resigned from my full-time job in February to pursue photography full-time

I turned in my resignation letter at my full-time student services position at IUPUI in early February, but actually ended up staying on part-time with them until the beginning of August! I offered to give them time to find a replacement for me as well as train the new person before I departed for good, so it just ended up taking about 6 months to find the right person for the position. This worked out well though, provided a little extra income for us during this big transition from full-time work to photography, and I left my full time job on good terms.


Celebrated our 1st year of marriage in Leavenworth, IN

March 3, 2018, I’ll never forget that day! The day I married this sweet, gentle, kind man that I was and still am just absolutely crazy about. Our first year of marriage was a little crazy; trying to figure out how to live together and combine our lives into one, many job changes, moving a total of 3 times, bought 2 houses and sold one. Let’s just say, the first year was anything but steady and things were always changing for us as we were figuring out where we’re supposed to start our life. We stayed in a small cabin in Leavenworth, Indiana the weekend of our 1st wedding anniversary and just enjoyed time spent together hanging in the hot tub, cuddling and watching movies and getting dinner at the local restaurants in this teeny tiny rural town just on the border of Indiana and Kentucky. Oh, and our wedding cake from 1 year ago did still taste AMAZING!


Brought home some baby chicks

We originally brought home 8 baby chicks but as they grew up, one passed away unexpectedly, 2 became roosters so we kept one rooster and gave the other away, however eventually the rooster we did keep became very violent so it wasn’t safe for us to hold onto him anymore and we had to get rid of him too. So, now we have 5 chickens total. Joey built a cute little coop and run for them and they started laying eggs this fall as well. We’ve had a lot of fun watching them grow up, feeding them our food scraps is nice because it feels like we’re being less wasteful, and fresh eggs everyday is also a huge plus!

Yes, that’s a chicken on a leash! ;)

Yes, that’s a chicken on a leash! 😉

Took on real estate photography

In March I had some connections and started some light real estate photography on the side for Anew Realty out of Tipton, Indiana. I’ve only photographed 17 homes this year, but I actually really like doing it and have gotten to see some REALLY cute homes around my area!


Photographed a total of 28 wedding days in 2019

I can’t believe that number…TWENTY EIGHT wedding days! I photographed about 12 weddings in 2018 so to jump from that number to 28 was kind of crazy. I will say that I probably won’t be doing this many wedding days again in one season, just for the sake of needing a weekend off every now and then so I can still have a life. 😉 But, I really enjoyed this year’s wedding season, all of my couples were so sweet and fun to work with and each wedding day was so beautiful and special. Forever SO thankful for each and every couple that I had the privilege to photograph this year, you made my dream of becoming a full-time wedding photographer possible!

Sarah Elizabeth Photos Indianapolis Wedding Photographer

2019 weddings indiana by Sarah Elizabeth Photos.jpg

Photographed 98 portait sessions in 2019

I can’t believe I’m just 2 away from hitting 100, makes me want to hurry and try to squeeze 2 more in before the year ends! I mainly specialize in weddings, engagements & family sessions, however I still do a handful of seniors, maternity, milestone & lifestyle newborn sessions each year. I have several families that do come back to me each year for photos as well as new families that I take on each year. Thankful for all the families, couples, seniors and babies I’ve gotten to photograph this year, you all make my job so rewarding!

2019 Total Portrait Session Counts:

Engagements: 23

Families: 49

Milestone: 7

Maternity: 6

Seniors: 6

Lifestyle Newborn: 5

Headshots: 2

Visited my Grandparents in Hilton Head, SC

Joey actually had the opportunity to go on a mission trip with his work to the Dominican Republic in July, so while he did that, I had to stay home due to having back to back wedding weekends. However, I was able to sneak away for a few days through the week to visit my grandparents in South Carolina. Always a good time living that “retired life” with them, we ate lots of seafood, laid by the beach and the pool and took naps. July is a very busy month for me, right in the middle of busy wedding season, so I couldn’t be 100% unplugged while there like I would have liked, I still had to spend time keeping up on photo editing and answering emails, but we still got plenty of good quality time spent together!


Remodeled our house

We spent the entire year making repairs and improvements on the house we bought in January, there’s still more to be done, but Joey is feeling pretty burnt out at this point since he has to do most of the handy guy stuff! It was a little overwhelming, as some things we didn’t plan to fix right away needed replaced, and many repairs ended up costing way over what we had budgeted for. But all in all, after putting so much time, money & energy into this house we love how we’ve made it our own and hope it’ll be a place we stay & make memories in for the next several years. Keep scrolling for a few before and after photos, just phone pics so not the best quality! Some of the things we’ve done this year include:

  • New metal roof replacement

  • Added shutters to exterior of house

  • New HVAC system (We went from having zero AC and baseboard heat only, so this was a HUGE project!)

  • All new paint throughout entire house

  • All new interior bedroom and closet doors

  • 1 new exterior door/2 new storm doors

  • Stone porch removed and wood front porch add-on

  • Kitchen backsplash

  • New carpet in living room

  • New water heater

  • New landscaping/Garden addition

  • Chicken coop addition

  • So many other little things!

Took a trip to Smoky Mountains, Asheville & Lincolnton, NC

I photographed a wedding in Lincolnton, NC this year in September, so Joey and I made a week long trip out of it first stopping in Gatlinburg to hike the Smoky Mountains, then a stop in Asheville, NC to visit the Biltmore Mansion and then ended the trip in Lincolnton, NC to photograph Bailey & Bradley’s wedding day! This trip was a lot of fun and I could definitely get used to photographing a couple destination weddings each year. 🙂

My little sister got married in November

My little sister, Sophie, got married on November 2nd this year to her high school sweetheart, Trevor Bailey. I got lucky enough to be her maid of honor and it was a beautiful day of love and celebration. She’s now a Bailey!

Attended Showit United in Pheonix, Arizona

I’ve already shared my experience and lots of pictures from this trip I took in November this year on another blog, so I won’t go too into detail. But Showit United is a photography conference held in Phoenix, AZ and I was lucky enough to be able to attend this year with my good friend Victoria of Victoria Rayburn Photography. We got to stay at the Marriott Phoenix Resort-Tempe at the Buttes which was so beautiful and convenient because just about everything going on at the conference was held there besides the dinner parties and some of the styled shoots. Shooting in the desert was one of the best things and we got some pretty amazing photos as well as loads of inspiration and knowledge to take back with us for our businesses!

I’ve booked 22 new couples for the 2020 wedding season!

I am so THANKFUL and EXCITED to announce that I have booked 22 new couples for the 2020 wedding season and each and every one of them are my ideal clients that I am thrilled to work with. I look forward to another great wedding season of fun, laughs, beating the Indiana heat (yes I’m looking forward to this because I’m already sick of winter and being cold!), wedding cake and seeing how beautiful each and every one of my brides is going to be next year!

2020, bring it on!!!