Birthday Surprise Personal

On Sunday morning, I had just woken up after a double header wedding weekend. I was laying in bed catching up on my phone when my parents walked into my room followed by four of my absolute best friends. They all piled on my bed with balloons, gifts and surprises and I could’ve just cried right then and there. These girls had been planning a surprise for my birthday for months, and I had absolutely no idea. They had chosen a dress from Rent the Runway, gifted me shoes, jewelry and the most thoughtful presents I’ve ever received. We spent the morning getting all dolled up, but I had absolutely no idea why!! I was told to pack a bag and hop in the car and an hour later, we were at the Gaylord in National Harbor!! We spent the night at a yummy Italian restaurant, shooting along the harbor and piling in a king bed just to talk until 3am. These girls are so thoughtful and selfless…I have never felt more blessed.

Before I knew any of this, I got home from my wedding on Saturday night, looked at my mom and said “I think this year might be the first time I have REAL friends to spend my birthday with”. Throughout high school, I never felt like I had true, life-long, bridesmaids-at-my-wedding-one-day kinda friends. And now, I know that I have four of the most kind-hearted and amazing girls to stand by my side through anything, and I could not be more thankful for them.

Not only is this day important because it’s my 19th birthday (WOO), but it’s important because, one year ago today, I made the decision not to attend the college I committed to. I made the decision to tell my roommate she had two weeks to find someone else to live with, tell my family I didn’t want to go away for school and publicly share that I was deciding to follow my dreams instead of attend a university. You can read the entire blog post from that day here. It’s insane to think that only one year has past, but also crazy to think about how fast it flew by. I feel so blessed today, not only because I have amazing friends, but because the Lord called me to do something greater and trusting Him brought me more joy and blessings than I ever could have imagined.

Enjoy some of my favorite pictures from our trip!!! Thank you again to Natalie, Erika, Kristen and Jess for the most amazing birthday that I’ll never forget! 19 years old is feeling pretty wonderful so far.


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June 30, 2015


hi, y'all!

I'm Hope Taylor, an international Senior Portrait and Wedding Photographer based in Charleston, SC. I'm also an educator, international speaker, and the host of multiple sold-out workshops each year!





For access to free, exclusive educational content not found anywhere else, priority access to workshop registration and occasional discussion of chicken nuggets.



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