Field Notes | May by Emily Margaret

Welcome to Field Notes, a monthly blog series. At the end of each month, I'll share a few things I learned, books I read, interesting blog posts from the web, recent projects, and other things of the sort. This month's Notes are brought to you by bacon-peach pizza. So much yes.


Read: Last month I had a goal to finish the (several) books I had in-process and read The Girl on the Train and I almost met that goal. I finished The More of Less and wrote a review about it, and I'm really close to finishing Restless. I started and finished The Girl on the Train and I'll be honest that I wasn't expecting to like it, and while I appreciated the writing and the twists in the story, I anticipated correctly. The story was a bit too dark for my taste, but was overall well-written. As for blogposts I loved this one and this one here, and found them to be fitting for my month. (Bonus- if you're looking for some new titles, Anne Bogel's summer reading lists do not disappoint.) 

Listen: Still lots of podcasts! Find some of my favorites here.

Think: When your priorities and boundaries get out of whack, everything else shifts around, things get unbalanced, and life gets messy (not in a good way.) It's amazing how little things like shutting down the screens at 8PM, doing yoga, making time to read, and cleaning out the closet make such a big difference. Resting well is essential to working well. Doing less allows you to do the things you do better. Other things that also help- Powersheets and webinars from Hannah Brencher.

Do: I did a little promotional photography for a new local hotel and photographed my little cousin's 6 month portraits. I also launched my Session Films as an add-on to my photography collections and can't wait to do more of them. And I discovered my new favorite pizza combination when I visited Bowling Green for the first time (bacon and peaches, you have to try it). An instagram workshop was also taken which included networking with local business owners and pretty flower arrangements.

Enjoy: This in-home family lifestyle session. I'm seriously in love.

Goals: Surprisingly, I completed 5/6 goals for this month! Hopefully that momentum will carry over to June. Here's a few of my goals for June:

What was your month filled with? What are some of your goals for June?

Field Notes | April by Emily Margaret

Welcome to a new blog series called Field Notes. At the end of each month, I'll share a few things I learned, books I read, interesting blog posts I found, and other things of that sort.

Read: I had a goal to finish the books I had in progress at the first of the month. I finished All the Light We Cannot See (highly recommend 5/5), made progress in Restless, and got halfway through More of Less. It wasn't as much progress as I would've liked but it was a good amount! I felt like I got my reading groove back, like it was before college when the constant flow of textbooks and research papers burnt me out. I also learned that I really like having one fiction and one nonfiction book going at the same time. (Bonus: blog posts I enjoyed- here and here.)

Listen: Lots of podcasts while editing and blogging. I'm planning to do a post this month on some of my favorites, but a few of them are Sorta Awesome, Chasing Creative, and The Simple Show.

Think: I got tired of the internet and figured out what to do about it.

Do: Photoshoots! I did some photos for family members, second shot a wedding, photographed a couple high school seniors, started a new project, and did a few other random shoots. Lots of fun stuff! I also went on a spontaneous weekend trip up to Iowa with a friend to help her go apartment hunting, during which I was reminded that I have more of a southern accent than I think I do, haha.

Enjoying: The 1SecondaDay App, time with friends, springtime, a new haircut, getting to know the members of my photography mastermind group, and k-pop music.

Goals for May:

  • Finish the books I currently have in progress and start The Girl on the Train.
  • Launch my new projects
  • Get back into a daily rhythm/routine
  • Make a plan for my next personal project
  • Clean out my closet and get down to more of a capsule wardrobe
  • Send in my passport application

What did you do this month? What are some of your goals for May?

2016 Reading List by Emily Margaret

I love making lists, reading books and reading other people's lists about books. I'm always on the lookout for a new book to add to add to the list, but unfortunately I add them much faster than I can read them.


The past several years I read fiction almost exclusively but now I've gone the other way and have pretty much been reading nonfiction. Do you ever find yourself doing things like this and reading one particular genre repeatedly, or do you like to mix it up? I've tried to add more variety to my list this year, with books in all areas of life and some for fun, some for business,

In an effort to be more accountable in actually tackling this list, I thought I'd share a few titles (yes, this is just a selection) that are on my list to read this year. If you have any recommendations of books that you've enjoyed, send me a tweet! I'd love to know some of your favorite reads.

2016 Reading List

What is one of your current favorite books? What's on your reading list?

Obey // My word for 2016 by Emily Margaret

I LOVE making lists and setting goals. Probably a little too much, if I'm honest. I always find it inspiring when other people share their goals, and it pushes me to try new things and be more effective with my time.


Last January, I chose a word to focus on along with a few specific goals. I ended up meeting only half of my goals for 2015, but I found that having the phrase show up as a sort of "theme" was very beneficial. Throughout the year, God used the phrase and showed me areas of my life where I needed to change and be more present. It's easy to get distracted and not really see what's in front of you and be fully there.

As for the goals,  I didn't shoot much personal photography work, nor did I read 20 books (or the entire Bible for that matter). However, I did clean out my closet, learned about lighting, and took an online class on lifestyle photography. As Lysa TerKeurst says, it's about progress over perfection.


For 2016, my word is going to be obey.

Last month, my Sunday school class was going through a study of James  and verse 22 especially stuck out to me- "be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves". I've also been reading through Seven with my study group recently and it's been pretty challenging. While I was thinking about what this new year will look like, I heard God saying to me, "you've learned all this stuff, so now what are you going to do with it? How can you use what I've given you? You say you follow me, but does your life look like it?". Nancy Ray has said (I couldn't find the link, sorry) that "TRUE success is obedience to God. Period". That couldn't be more true, and while the concept is simple, it's not an easy thing to do and I don't know what exactly it's going to look like. It will be challenging, for sure, but worthwhile.

Do you choose a word to focus on during the year? If so, what did you choose and why?