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afternoon ramblings ~ what’s on my mind today, for the moment

sparkly bisonThings on my mind today:

~I either read/heard/completely made up something about how there are actually no buffalo in Oklahoma {maybe all of the U.S.??} because technically what we have here are bison.  Is this true?  Since my spirit animal has recently been established as a rumblecorn {half bison -as in Rumble the Thunder mascot- half unicorn}, I feel like I need to know the bison facts.  But speaking of rumblecorns, if this sparkly bison had a unicorn horn, it would be pretty perfect.  Let’s pretend that big orange jewel on it’s forehead is a unicorn horn, okay?  I’m going to try to start incorporating “unicorn horn” into my vocabulary more often.  I’m doing a good job at it so far today, right now.

~Last week was Spring Break, so I ate pretty badly and didn’t get enough sleep, and I’m too old for all that.  But wait, let’s back up because, really, last week was not Spring Break.  At least not for me.  I mean, I still had to work and all that.  But I did house and dog sit, which in some ways was like a staycation for me.  So it was kind of Spring Break.  And I ate badly and didn’t sleep enough.  So this week, I haven’t felt the greatest.  Added to that, I am going on a trip to Alaska in two months, and I am so determined to be in better shape by then!  Random but real motivation.  And I am definitely the all-or-nothing type, so this week I am all in with the healthier lifestyle stuff.  I went grocery shopping on Monday and bought lots of fruits and veggies and nuts and fish.  Yesterday I did great about eating healthy for most of the day, but it went on a downward spiral last night at the Thunder game when my sister offered to buy me a beer and onion rings.  Ooops.  Determined to make up for the it this morning, plus just wanting to start exercising again in general, I woke up early and did a workout.  Then I tried some dry brushing before my shower with my new body brush – all this while oil pulling with coconut oil {which is actually a regular habit of mine, but I missed it all last week while I wasn’t at home}.  Did I mention my all-or-nothing tendencies?

~Andy Grammer music.  Currently obsessed with “Honey I’m Good” -such a cute, catchy song..which I’m sure the radio stations will play until it’s lost its charm.  But for now, I love it!  And when I like a song a lot, I tend to just go ahead and buy the album, so I’m enjoying his Magazines or Novels album.  I am so sad I couldn’t make it down to Dallas earlier this month for the Alex & Sierra and Andy Grammer show.  I know I’ve mentioned how much I adore Alex & Sierra.  I would have so loved to see them all live.  Sigh.  #adultlife

~Travel….. As I mentioned, I am going to Alaska in two months, woohoo!!  I cannot wait!  I’ll be visiting some of my lifelong best friends who live up there now.  So excited!  And on the travel topic, I am officially adding an item to my bucket list {which currently consists of 1. Seeing Ray LaMontagne in concert.  and 2.  Riding in a hot air balloon.  It’s an extensive list.  I’m not a good goal setter, okay?}: visit New Orleans.  For real.  I’ve never been.  And I really want to go!  My friends Simone and Kadie just went for Spring Break, and their SnapChats and Instagram posts just solidified my desire to spend some time in NOLA.

~Sunshine enhances my inner peace and general contentment with my life.  It makes my heart happy.  As much as I’d like to be a cool kid who gets all gooey over rainy days, sunshine is what really brings out my inner heart-eye-emoji.  Maybe if I had someone to snuggle up with when it was rainy then I’d be about that rainy day infatuation.  But I don’t and I’m not.  Give me all the sunshine, please and thank you.

Happy Wednesday, friends!

~abi~

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Anna DiceMarch 25, 2015 - 9:08 pm

aaaa Alaska sounds amazing!! That’s awesome! Lucky

Abi RuthMarch 25, 2015 - 9:35 pm

I know, I am thrilled about it!! :)

think thrifted ~ black floral maxi dress outfit

thrifted black floral maxi dress outfit 4This is the third outfit I thrifted and styled for a fun photo shoot with my friend Melissa, aka Mo.  If you missed the other two, you can check them out here {70’s style} and here {lucite green outfit}. Clearly, Melissa rocked each look and is just a supermodel masquerading as a realtor. ;)

thrifted black floral maxi dress outfit 1For this last outfit, I paired a long, black floral maxi dress with some tall boots and a detailed jacket, for an effect that was less sweet and more bold.  I think this outfit ticks all the right boxes for spring.  You’ve got your floral {“Florals?  For spring?”  Groundbreaking.”}, plus you’ve got light layers with a jacket to keep your warm and a sleeveless dress underneath in case the day heats up.  And boots, because you don’t have to put them away yet.thrifted black floral maxi dress outfit 2thrifted black floral maxi dress outfit 3eta: Forgot to include this when I posted yesterday, but I did want to mention how I found this dress here for $5 and came across this similar dress online for $270… Holla!thrifted black floral maxi dress outfit 5How amazing is this tunnel of light alleyway we found??  I was dying over this light.  Dying. thrifted black floral maxi dress outfit 6thrifted black floral maxi dress outfit 7As much as I love every season {as recently discussed on here}, I am very much ready for more sunshine, warmer temps, and the easy style that comes along with this time of year.  I mean, look at this outfit: three pieces {four if you count the necklace} and it looks completely polished and gorgeous.

Here’s to power florals and fun fashion shoots!

~abi~

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afternoon ramblings ~ blogging and living the good life

Switch Set Apart 17I’ve been thinking a lot about blogging lately.  Maybe thinking about it more than actually doing it, oops.  Hate it when that happens. But I haven’t just been thinking about this blog, I’ve been thinking about blogging in general.  Obviously, I’m super into it.  Really.  If you follow me on Twitter, you will often see links to posts I read throughout the week.

I follow a bunch of blogs, mostly of the fashion/style and home decor varieties.  When I started following blogs, it was way back in MySpace days.  Some of the top photographers in the country were posting links on MySpace to their beautiful photography blogs, and I was hooked.  I also used to attend a huge photography convention in Vegas, where they preached blogging as an awesome marketing tool for your photography business – which was true and worked for a lot of people, including me.

I started blogging then, on MySpace.  So lame, I know, but so cool at the time.  Seriously, all the cool people were on there.  It was new and exciting and fun.

I had never been much of a journal keeper, so I wasn’t necessarily drawn to blogging as a personal journal.  What I initially loved was the ability to share bits of people’s stories through the photos I had taken of them.  And also, I enjoyed getting a peek into people’s lives through beautiful photos other photographers share.

Some things never change, as I am still attracted to a blog with great photos.  But a lot of things do change, and I’d say my interests in blogs and blogging are very different than they first were.  Now, I only loosely follow a few photography blogs; and of those and all the other types of blogs I follow, I am drawn to the bloggers who allow a strong personal voice to come through in their posts.

Maybe it’s the effects of social media, where we have the ability to know about others’ lives without really even knowing them.  Maybe it’s just me and my fascination with human beings and their stories.  Whatever it is, it comes down to this: I love following blogs, but mostly {pretty much only} blogs with a personal voice.

That has also trickled over into my own blog.  I am still doing a lot of photo shoots, and I’m still loving them.  But I’m not blogging them as much.  Part of that is laziness and procrastination, sure.  But a big part of that is also the fact that it’s harder for me to add my personal voice and share my stories on posts filled with posed photos of others.  I mean, I’m doing that with this post right now, but these are goofy photos from a youth retreat with my church, not a lovely session someone paid me to do.  And yes, I’ll talk more about the retreat in a minute.

There’s always this struggle {for me, anyway}, as a creative.  I want to appear “professional” because I am: people hire me to do photo shoots.  But I also am a real person, not a big company or corporation – and honestly, I have no desire to be a big, anonymous thing, even if it were super successful and made a lot of money.  I thrive on relationships and connections, not money and fame.  But money is nice and necessary and makes life easier, for sure.  And I want to use my creative talents to make money, of course.  I struggle with balancing how I present myself online.  It’s just the reality we live in now.  What if someone comes here to my site, and looks around, and doesn’t get a professional enough vibe, and doesn’t hire me for a shoot because of that?

It’s something I think about.

But I have come to a place of not caring so much.  I don’t want that to come across wrong.  I do care.  But I also want to use this blog as a personal place to talk about my life.  And yes, to post cool, fun, pretty, stylish, or whatever photos also.

It helps to know {or at least feel like} people don’t maybe follow blogs as much as they used to.  I feel a little more freedom to write about whatever I want because I know a million people aren’t reading this blog.  Maybe things will change some day, maybe they won’t.  Maybe more people will read, maybe less.  Whatever happens, whatever direction I go, my goal is to achieve a good balance between personal and professional voice on here.  I know I’m not there yet, but give me time – I’ve only been doing this for about eight or nine years now, ha!

In all seriousness, though, I think the blogging world is fluid: things change and times change and bloggers change.  So what worked years ago might not work now.  What works for one person won’t work for another.

The way I see it, my blog is something I created, so I want to treat it like I do my other creations and try to use it to build connections and relationships and share beauty and love.

Speaking of love and beauty, let’s talk about these photos…Switch Set Apart 20The past couple of weekends have been wonderful for me.  These photos are from the weekend before last.  As I’ve mentioned many times, I volunteer with Switch, our teen program at my church.  We had our spring retreat, and it was awesome.  From the car ride there and back which formed new friendships; to lip sync battles, laser tag, and human foosball {which can only serve to build and deepen relationships, obviously}; and of course, quality time spent talking to, with, and about God – it was an amazing time.

Have you ever heard of Chazown?  It’s a book {by my pastor}, an experience, a way to work through your life experiences and passions and clarify what God’s purpose is for your life.  When I went through it, my “Chazown” was something along the lines of: “To build relationships and community in order to help others experience a peace that passes all understanding, which can only come from Christ.”  I am totally paraphrasing that, and a lot of people have a Chazown that is more specific or concise, but mine basically boiled down to that.

I have ideas of how I want to do a better job of living that out, but for now {and the past several years}, Switch is the major way I get to live out my calling.  And it is so fun, you guys.  God is so good to me, and I cannot express my gratitude enough.  I am so thankful for this season of life.  I am thankful that even though I might not be doing everything I wish to do, I love what I get to do right now.Switch Set Apart 59So, shoutout to fun weekends and good people.  And shoutout to any of you who love me enough to read through all my rambling posts like this one.  Love you guys!

~abi~

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Mary OMarch 17, 2015 - 4:24 pm

I still read every post :) These photos make me so happy! Blog more! Blog more!

Abi RuthMarch 18, 2015 - 3:11 am

thank you, friend!! and i love reading your blog posts, too. <3

Meg J.March 25, 2015 - 11:00 pm

I love you. I love your blog. I’ve missed it!!!!!

Abi RuthMarch 26, 2015 - 1:23 pm

And I love YOU, Meg! :) Thanks!

think thrifted ~ edgy lucite green outfit

edgy lucite green outfit by abi ruth 07Dang, Mo Dwiggins, you’re such a hottie!

Just had to get that out of the way first. :)  In case you’re not up to speed, this is the second outfit from a little fashion shoot I did recently with my gorgeous friend Melissa.  You can check out the first one right here and see how much clothes and makeup can transform a girl from hippie chick to edgy cool girl.

The first outfit post was so popular that I’m sort of afraid everyone will hate this look, but it’s okay because I love it!  It’s definitely different.  The first outfit was like the all American, pretty, cool, always popular girl.  This outfit is like the edgy chick who people might like, but they’re not really sure what to think of.  Ha.  I love this girl, though!  I’m all for different and edgy.edgy lucite green outfit by abi ruth 01As you can see here, here, here, here, and here, lucite green is a huge color trend for spring and summer.  But I wanted to make it less sweet and more innovative.  So I paired it with black, made Mo rock socks with the heels {she was not a fan of the socks, just for the record – but she was a good sport and went along with my crazy styling ideas}, and looped a long necklace around for a choker effect.  I like anything that’s a nod to 90’s style, and that’s what this choker look makes me think of.edgy lucite green outfit by abi ruth 02I found this shirt at a garage sale and the rest of the outfit {skirt, shoes, bag} all came from thrift stores.  Honestly, you can usually find a cheaper deal on clothes at garage sales than at thrift stores.  The obvious downside to garage sales is that they’re less convenient.  Lots of early mornings and driving, less chance of finding stuff in your size.  So thrift stores win in the convenience department, but garage sales score better deals.  I am definitely a more avid thrifter, but anytime I drive by a garage sale, I will hop out and look around.edgy lucite green outfit by abi ruth 03Anyway, back to this top.  I absolutely love the color and I adore the lacing up the back.  I think I wore this top once, but it kinda made me feel like a tent.  I think the oversized look works better on someone who has a build more like Melissa’s.  Although I might try it again over some black faux leather leggings I just got.  The trick with anything oversized, of course, is to pair it with something more form fitting, like this vintage pencil skirt.edgy lucite green outfit by abi ruth 04edgy lucite green outfit by abi ruth 05edgy lucite green outfit by abi ruth 10Since we were going for an edgy look, we had to go with a super dark, bold lip.  I left the rest of her face pretty bare, with just a touch of dark green liner under her eyes. edgy lucite green outfit by abi ruth 06If you know Mo, you know this  is a far cry from her normal vibe, which is natural style all the way.  But I think she wears this look so well!  She’s awesome.edgy lucite green outfit by abi ruth 08edgy lucite green outfit by abi ruth 09I know this look is more daring than the previous one I posted of Mo, but I hope it might inspire someone a little bit in some way.  Maybe you’ll dare to try a mostly monochromatic outfit; or add some edge to a pale color by pairing it with black; or rock a deep, dark lip color.  Have some fun with your look this weekend! :)

~abi~

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[…] think thrifted ~ edgy lucite green outfit […]

photo shoot ~ okc realtor headshots

professional headshots by abi ruthAs is the case quite often in my life, I never blogged these headshots after we did them several months ago.  I’ve really been excited to do more headshots lately, because it’s an area I haven’t explored a whole lot over the past fourteen years of shooting.  I’ve always enjoyed doing headshots, but those jobs just haven’t come along as often as say, weddings or family portraits.  Then I was thinking, “Well, duh, Abi.  If you mostly post portrait and wedding work on your site, then you’ll probably mostly portrait and wedding clients.”  So I have several shoots that I need to share on here, just to show a bit more range on my part.  You’ve probably already noticed that I’ve been shooting and sharing more fashion-y work.  Just trying to keep things fresh and stay inspired!

But speaking of wedding work, I actually photographed weddings for two of Casey’s children.  That’s Casey, up above.  And Emily, below, is her daughter.  You might remember Emily’s gorgeous, intimate wedding ceremony and stunning rooftop reception.

 

So you see, sometimes wedding jobs lead to other types of work, too.  I enjoy being able to do different types of shoots for my same clients when they need them.professional headshots by abi ruth 13professional headshots by abi ruth 12We also did a few group photos for them to use in their realty business.professional headshots by abi ruth 15I hope I’ll be able to have more opportunities to photograph professional headshots, as I’m finding it’s something I really enjoy doing.

~abi~

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