6 Months into Marriage & Life Updates [Newlywed 101]

Happy Fall, ya’ll! 

Well, I guess fall is mostly over, but still look at those colors!


I’ve been quiet on here recently- I’ve been super busy with photography and doctor’s appointments…

Two weeks ago, I sliced my tendon on my left index finger. Two stitches, 3 doctors visits (so far), and 2 splints later… I’ll be stuck in a splint for at least 6-8 weeks. Boo!

(Wanna see my stitches? Just kidding…)


I’ve been on adventures, but not the kind that I usually go on like hikes and camping.

I have been spending most of my free time quoting potential photography clients, watching photography lessons online, finding tools to manage my systems, tracking expenses, location scouting, shooting sessions, editing photos, marketing, and wondering what else I can do to build my business.

Oh, and gratuitously watching The Voice.



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Let me tell you, I love being a professional photographer!


(This is a behind the scenes moment that my husband took on his phone while I was doing a session)

I feel like photography has been such an exciting adventure for me, and I feel so fulfilled doing it. I am able to constantly grow and develop my skills for shooting, editing, marketing, and networking. It’s the right amount of social interaction where I get to work with people, but I also get time in the “office” wherever that may be on any given day. Today, it’s this super cute coffee shop in Holladay that I stumbled upon and fell in love. I get views of Mount Olympus and really yummy coffee.

Back to photography, I recently delivered a maternity session to a fun couple about to have their first child. We went up in Little Cottonwood Canyon for some fall colors, and just had fun with the session. By the end, I felt like we were friends. They loved the photos so much they put together a slideshow and sent it to me. I am doing their newborn photos when their little boy is born (he’s due at the end of October). My formerly cold heart (just kidding) is exploding with happiness! I’ve always wanted to be able to give something to people that they can cherish, and I feel like I’ve arrived.


Another odd thing I’ve been noticing myself doing is just watching for small moments to capture with my camera (or just mentally if I don’t have a camera on me). Like snapshots of people’s lives doing the everyday routine is so important because it shows those real life moments.


(Like this one I shot yesterday. So sweet!)

The hardest parts of getting into this profession?

Well, I’ve still got a long way to go… But building a client base is extremely difficult given I have no real base group of high school friends, college friends, or family here in Utah like I do in Florida.

Another battle I’ve been fighting is the desire to work all of the time. I have no “off switch” because if I have something I know I should be working on (which is all of the time), I am always connected. With my part-time job at the hotel, I clock out and leave and that’s the end of my work day. With photography, there is no such thing. I’ve heard of some photogs having “office hours” but right now, I want to do everything in my power to get this business going. Even it means sacrificing my weekend freedom to go location scouting or for a session. I take my business seriously and I want it to succeed. The feeling of fulfillment is way more important to me than I realized going into this journey.

I really enjoy it, and make an adventure out of it. I try to find new spots and scenes that I think my clients will love. It’s a work in progress, and I’ll keep you all updated on my progress.

In the meantime, you can peruse my portfolio here: Hilary Gardiner Photography.

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In other news, our lives have had quite a bit of change happening, and I think there might be more in our near future. I’m not quite ready to discuss it until it’s final, but I feel just as the season is beginning to change, our future will be changing as well. (And NO, I’m not pregnant, Mom!)


(Photo by Jessica Ajeman)

Even though we’re 6 months into our marriage, I feel like it’s all settled in. We’re married. Like our wedding was forever ago. And that’s a good thing. We work as individuals within a unit, and we support each other. I definitely would’ve been up a creek when I sliced my finger without Brighton. I couldn’t do a lot on my own without him that first week. But in all seriousness, it’s taken a little getting used to that I am really married but now the wedding fairy dust has finally settled and we’re approaching our first holiday season as a married couple! What?!    ?

Just for fun, this is our Halloween costume for this year: Burt Macklin & Janet Snakehole…

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Do you get the reference? Just in case, it’s from Parks & Rec. Andy Dwyer and April Ludgate dress up, role-playing these characters and it shows up a few times throughout the series.


Not bad for a last minute couple’s costume! ?

What types of changes did you experience during your first few months of marriage?