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Hope Taylor is a photographer specializing in senior portraits serving both Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA.


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Surprise 22nd Birthday Party! Personal


I’m typing this post (my first blog post as a 22 year old!!!) and I don’t think my heart has ever been this full. I’m going to give you some context that is going to make this blog post start off sounding depressing…but it’s necessary!!! You see, one year ago, I was in a much different season of life. I was battling health issues I never really shared, living in a situation I wasn’t happy with, secluding myself too much into my work and not surrounding myself with people that poured into me. I was drained, exhausted, depleted, mentally and physically unhealthy. I spent most of my 21st birthday crying and wishing things looked different. Who knew that it would only take a year to turn things around? I sure as heck didn’t…but God did.

Typically, this time of year I am drowning in work. I used to be shooting 2-3 portrait sessions a week, weddings on weekends, cramming in workshops and educational content in between while trying to just MANAGE things like emails, blogging and editing in the middle of it all. This year, I made intentional changes to better myself, my mental health and my workload so that I could feel HUMAN again and make time for the things and people I loved. So, now that you have the backstory, let’s talk about my 22nd birthday (because I still can’t believe it was real):

The last week of June was the end of a long travel month, so I was SO excited to be back home in my element! I had planned with my sweet momma to take some birthday portraits and social media content (they are down below!!!) so I spent a full day doing that with my mom and sister…which already felt like such a gift! My birthday was on Saturday, but my friends and family made sure I felt loved and celebrated the whole weekend…I don’t know what I did to deserve them.

On Saturday morning, I woke up to the sweetest gifts and a gorgeous bouquet of flowers delivered to my door (my last peonies of the year!!!) My plan was to go to lunch with some sweet friends of mine, then get my nails done with my mom and my sister before a family dinner that night. Such a perfect day! So, I headed out to meet Natalie and Kristen for lunch (at my favorite Italian spot!) I suspected something was up when my mom and sister surprised me and PICKED ME UP from lunch instead of just meeting me at the nail salon like we planned…but I had no idea what they were up to.

We got mani-pedis (such a treat!) and then finished up around 3:30. Little did I know that we actually finished earlier than everyone was planning…so my mom had to stall for 30 minutes before we could go home HAHA!! We ended up stopping for food for my sister (who had already eaten and wasn’t even hungry) and then smoothies for my mom…which I proceeded to spill all over the car and myself. Totally fine.

We pulled up to my house and casually walked inside…and MY ENTIRE LIVING ROOM WAS FULL OF MY FAVORITE PEOPLE.

They had all left lunch and gone to my house to set up a surprise party for me…IN MY OWN HOME.

I still can’t even believe it.

I had been dying to host an event at my house with my friends this summer…and they made it happen for me.

We spent the rest of the day taking photos, drinking Jell-O shots (thanks momma Taylor), playing Can Jam and having so much fun. I’m so, so thankful for each and every one of them.

Natalie, Kristen, Jake, Ryan & Brian: Thank you all so much for making my dream birthday come together. I don’t know what I did to deserve friends like you…but you never fail to make me feel loved, appreciated and celebrated. I thank God ever day for blessings like you.

Mom & Dad: I don’t even know where to start with you two!!! Thank you for making this dream a reality, helping decorate, making food, getting me the sweetest gifts (my new fave bracelet and the cutest clothes!!!) and for being such wonderful role models. I don’t know what I’d do without you.

Okay, done being sappy…here are all of the photos!!! The first few are the birthday portraits I took a few days before turning 22 (thanks for being my personal photographer, mom!)

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Party day!! I cherish these photos that Kristen took so much. I was getting my nails done during these set-up shots…but I still get to see all of the memories they made before I arrived!!


#TheStreamerBoys (their new favorite hashtag)

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HAHAHA the “Dilly Dilly” napkins are a Taylor family fave.

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They even made me a photo backdrop int he backyard!!! Pretty sure it was over 100 degrees….


Goodness gracious I just love them.

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Testing light before I walked in…this is Ryan’s surprised face HAHAHAHA



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Light testing once again…what a gem of a photo LOL


All of my favorite people in the whole entire world…

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Josh’s “dad bod” pose hahahahaha

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Momma Taylor (aka my fave person on the planet)!!!

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I mentioned that it was hot…

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  1. Aria says:

    Ahhh, this looks like such a wonderful birthday! Thank you for sharing all the beautiful pictures! You are so lovely and I LOVED seeing. I also love the first pictures of you – such a stunning dress, and the confetti! AHH!

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!



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