Get Your DIY on at AR Workshop

ar workshop richmond amber kay seniors

DIY crafts AR Workshop Richmond

Are you looking for something fun to do in Richmond? Something a little outside of the box where you can use your hands? All while having something awesome to bring home? Then I’ve got something fun for you! Let me introduce you to DIY crafts at AR Workshop Richmond.

AR Workshop is a DIY retail store where you can make your own signs, trays, pillows, etc. Really the project list is endless. The shop is located at Stony Point Fashion Park and is so much fun!

what to do in richmond ar workshopwhat to do in richmond ar workshop

The owner is Rebecca and she’s the absolute best! She’s also a good friend so yes I am biased but once you meet her…you’ll totally agree with me. Rebecca had the brilliant idea to open an AR Workshop here and her shop opened in October. (Total side note – she was a wedding photographer for over 10 years prior and I did force her to come out of wedding photographer retirement to photograph my wedding in March. But that’s another story and blog post. Seriously though how can one person be so talented??)

ar workshop richmond owner rebecca

The class list is endless and in the shop all the classes are listed on these fun clipboards. For the current full class list visit their website HERE. 


When you come in for a class it is totally hands on! You’re getting your hands a little dirty. You’ll be painting, sanding, nail gunning (I don’t think that’s supposed to be used as a verb but it’s working for me), staining, etc. You even get to wear these super cute aprons! So you don’t have to worry about getting your cute outfit all stained.

The best part? You even get to drink while you craft!!! An AR Workshop class is great for date night or for girls night out!

The store also has some really awesome retail items!! And even better – most are made by local makers! Boss babes supporting other boss babes. I love it!!

I’ve had the pleasure of taking two different classes. One for learning how to make a chunky knit blanket and one for making a framed sign with my photography logo!!! (These next pictures were all taken with my iphone during the class I took.)

You can choose to do one of the many projects AR Workshops offers and the designs they offer or you can customize your project! Think initials, monograms, full names, or completely customize and do your business logo. Before class I emailed my logo to Rebecca so she could prepare the stencil. When I showed up my name was on the table with my project parts.

I can’t even begin to tell you the details of what we did when or what the steps were. Hahahaha. I might have been a bit flustered making sure my project was perfect. Cause that’s the way I roll…but here are a few photos of the fun process.

 And here’s my finished project!! I’m so in love with it and it’s proudly hanging in my studio!!

ar workshop richmond amber kay seniors

The next time you’re looking for something fun to do or maybe you’re just in need of something cool for your house make sure you check out AR Workshop. You can also host parties, private crafting events, or your fundraiser. Call Rebecca and she will hook you up.

DIY crafts AR workshop Richmond

Honeymooning in The Bahamas

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Yay!! We got married 3/8!!! And then we had a Bahamas honeymoon!!! The Abacos, Bahamas to be precise.

Travel is definitely one of the loves of my life and traveling with the love of my life makes it even better. When Mike and I were exploring honeymoon destinations we knew we wanted to go somewhere warm. (Honestly we wanted to go to France but we decided to put that off until fall. Because March in France isn’t too warm. But I digress.) We explored so many options and ultimately we decided on exploring the Bahamas on a catamaran!!

We had no idea what we were getting into but once we discovered Tradewinds and watched their videos we were sold on the idea!!!!! We started out spending three days being beach bums in Treasure Cay. We stayed at Treasure Cay Beach Marina and Golf Resort , went to the beach, explored the area a little, drank rum filled fruity drinks, and ate over priced food.

The beach and the water were absolutely stunning. We practically had the place to ourselves and had our choice of beach lounge chairs and tiki huts for a little shade. One morning we walked the beach to find an amazing sand bar that just popped up at low tide! Another morning we rented scooters to explore a bit and found an amazing local bakery where we promptly ordered meat pies & coconut pastries and declared it the best food we had in days.

One last morning on the beach and we boarded our catamaran- The TLSea!!! It was docked in the harbor right outside our room and we had been walking past it for a few days. We were so excited to get on board!

Day 1 I was able to cross off my bucket list – Island of Pigs!! They didn’t much appreciate our carrots and much preferred the bread other boats brought to them. Also don’t let that big pink one fool you – she was a bit feisty and didn’t really appreciate the piggy petting.

Life on the boat was very relaxing!!! We shared it with 3 other couples and our Captain & First Mate. We loved everyone especially our Captain & First Mate (Michael & Marica)! Everyone had their own cabin and bathroom, small but all we needed.  It was an all inclusive trip so we got 3 meals a day cooked for us and all we could drink.

We had lots of little excursions off the catamaran to explore different cays. The captain would dingy us ashore! Here we were heading to Great Guana Cay. There were several lively bars including Nipper’s which seemed to be like Spring Break 24/7.

We went snorkeling at Mermaid Reef and saw so many fish!! One little sucker even bit my finger!!! When we got back on board I tried to figure out what kinds of fish we saw. We did see quite a few sting rays and some turtles.

Another day and another excursion! This time into Hopetown. Loved the lighthouse – such amazing views from up top.

We sailed over to Tahiti Beach which was a super cool sand bar. I find this cute little box fish and spent about 20 minutes chasing him down in about a foot of water trying to get a good picture of him. While we were exploring a storm was busy rolling in. Crazy how one half of the sky was a dark storm and the other was a perfectly blue sky.

For sure one of our favorite spots was Scotland Cay!!! We kayaked from the catamaran in and around, pulled on shore the sandbar, and did a little snorkeling. Mike found a little stingray and chased him around for a bit. We found starfish, sand dollars too. The water was delicious. Pretty sure the vacation life is for us!

Dolphins, Man-O-War Cay, and a sunrise with a full moon!

Loved the sails up!!! I’m not sure the name of this cay but we anchored and I snorkeled over to the little island. Complete perfection.

Heading back to Treasure Cay with my feet on the sugar scoop and miles of blue ocean to see! The last morning of our trip we spent back on the beach with the sand between our toes soaking up the whole experience. Then it was off to the smallest airport ever with meat pies in hand from the bakery. Yes we had our cab driver stop for us!!

We can’t say enough amazing things about Tradewinds!!! We are totally sold on this way of vacationing and are busy planning our next Tradewinds trip. If you have any questions about taking a catamaran vacation (Tradewinds has over 60 catamarans in the water all over the world) send me an email!! Or if you have any questions about a Bahamas honeymoon in The Abacos I can tell you all I know.

Why You Need a Pro Photographer for your Blog

richmond blogger photography

Richmond Blogger Photography

Who are your favorite bloggers & influencers? Besides their style what do you love about them? Their photos right?! Really that’s the first thing you notice (especially when finding them and following on Instagram…which happens the be THE PLATFORM)! These girls seem to have it all – style, content, an amazing esthetic, all the right images with just the right non-posed poses  (for the record many of those are posed shots of looking non-posed). You want to know them, hang out with them, wear what they’re wearing, have them on your girl squad!

The two things that make any blogger or influencer stand out are #1 their images & #2 their voice. Since photography is my game we will talk about the images here.

I’m an Instagram addict. I admit it! It is by far my favorite social media platform and it is what I use to see where I want to eat, what new stores I want to check out, get some fashion and makeup tips, etc. When I come across an account that has non-appealing imagery (under exposed, over exposed, out of focus, boring, etc) I’ll scroll on past. Let’s be frank… do not want your potential readers/customers to just scroll on past your images! You want to them be drawn in, get to know you, read what you have to say.

Instagram and blogging have turned quite competitive! For you and your brand to stand out you definitely need to make sure you’re posting imagery that stands out. Let’s face it you can take some really good pictures with your iPhone but…it’s not the same as hiring a pro photographer. Finding the right photographer for you is vitally important. That photographer-blogger-influencer relationship & chemistry is what will help your images stand out from the crowd. Building your relationship with your photographer will translate to your photographer intuitively knowing your brand, how you like to be photographed, your best angles, and what you ultimately want.

Here are a few of my favorite images from a recent shoot with Taylor Pitera of Tailor. She has a personal blog Tailored and also runs a successful e-commerce boutique Tailor. You can find her on Insta HERE & HERE. We spent about an hour strolling around parts of The Fan in Richmond getting these (& many more!) images. Four outfits – several locations & different looks!

If you’re a blogger/influencer I would like to chat photography with you. Drop an email to and let’s set up a time to sit down and talk about you, your blog, your social media, your business goals, and how I can help with photography.

richmond blogger photography


Vintage Cabana Summer Birthday Party by the Pool

vintage cabana inspired birthday party pool richmond va

Vintage Cabana Inspired Birthday Party Summer Poolside

vintage cabana inspired birthday party pool richmond va

I cannot for the life of me believe that I haven’t shared this kick-ass shoot before on the blog. This is the magic that happens when you get a few genius boss ladies together!

Have you ever wanted to have the BEST birthday party ever with your girlfriends? Does a pool party sound fun? How about a vintage cabana inspired birthday party during the summer poolside? YES?! You could even turn these ideas into graduation party ideas or a house warming or bachelorette!! I mean seriously you can’t go wrong here. Your friends would never stop talking about it. I know I wouldn’t.

The mastermind behind this genius is Chelsea of Illumination Events Studio and she absolutely rocks! (I mean I even hired her as my day of wedding coordinator she’s so awesome!!) When Chelsea asked if I’d like to participate in a vintage cabana styled birthday party & she showed me her inspiration I jumped up and down with excitement. If you’re planning any type of event, party, or wedding and need some help with inspiration, planning, bringing the whole thing together then she’s your woman. So many other amazing vendors came together for this birthday party shoot as well!!

So let’s start off with the venue. A cool pool of course!! This happens to be at Bandit’s Ridge  in Louisa, VA. Not too far of a drive from Richmond, it’s set out in the country so you could definitely play your music as loud as you would like and laugh the day away.

vintage cabana inspired birthday party pool richmond vaHow would you like to get to the party? Why a vintage red vespa of course!!! Make sure you don’t forget your perfectly wrapped presents.

vintage cabana inspired birthday party red vespa with presents

vintage cabana inspired birthday party red vespa with presentsvintage cabana inspired birthday party presents

These lovely ladies were perfectly styled all day by Megan of Sweet Sauce. I’ve worked with her several times and she is just amazing and has the perfect eye for fashion and accessories. She’s perfect to work with to help you style your own closet, curate a new wardrobe, or of course to work with you on a specific project…like your senior pictures!! These beautiful women are wearing outfits from fab’rik of Carytown and they look smashing! Hair and makeup was perfectly done and attended to by Elle Style Studio.

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You can’t forget the invitations!!! How bright and cheerful are these? Riot + Revel did an amazing job designing the invitations and all the other signage and paper goods for the day.

vintage inspired birthday party invitationvintage inspired birthday party invitation

You can’t have a party without party hats. And what type of party hat goes best with a vintage inspired cabana party? Why fruit and flower hats and headbands of course!!

vintage inspired birthday tropical poolside venue richmond va

A few of the party decorations and set up. It’s not a party without the perfect decor that sets the scene for your theme.

vintage inspired birthday poolside decorvintage inspired birthday tropical poolside venue richmond va

What’s more perfect on a hot summer day than a fruit bar?

vintage inspired birthday tropical fruitbarvintage inspired birthday tropical fruitbar

Every girl loves a fruity drink to keep her cool. How pretty are these little watermelon drinks?

vintage inspired birthday party fruity cocktailsvintage inspired birthday party fruity cocktailsvintage inspired birthday party fruity cocktails

Small party or big party the setup and flow is everything. This little tablescape is so cute and makes me want to have a party right now.

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Hello AH-mazing cake!! This geometic fruit cake manages to be tropical and retro and feel like summer!! Dessert First Custom Cakes rocked it.

vintage inspired birthday colorful fruit birthday cake

Quick outfit change into vintage inspired swim suits and cover-ups.

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A little pineapple pinata action. You’re never too old for candy!

vintage inspired birthday party pineapple pinataThe highlight of the party may be relaxing and splashing by the pool.

vintage cabana inspired birthday party pool richmond vavintage cabana inspired birthday party pool richmond vavintage cabana inspired birthday party pool richmond vaOr maybe it’s the dance party & bubble?

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SOOOO excited to say that this was featured on Hostess With The Mostest blog!!!!!!!!!! Check out what they had to say.

All Vendor Credits: Conception, Planning, Florals, Decor, & Styling- Illumination Events Studio / Venue: Bandit’s Ridge / Photography: Amber Kay Photography , Amber Kay Seniors / Apparel: Fab’rik Carytown / Apparel Styling: Sweet Sauce / Hair and Makeup: Elle Style Studio / Cake: Dessert First Custom Cakes / Linens and Rentals: Rent-E-Quip / Paper goods and gift wrapping: Riot + Revel / Vespa: 7 Hills Scooter Club

Vintage Cabana Inspired Birthday Party Summer Poolside

Did you check out my post about Hot Diggity Donuts? Great design & great donuts!!! You can read that HERE.