Summer Recap | Personal Post

August 11, 2015

I’m Manali
Coach, editor & brand photographer based out of Cincinnati, Ohio. When I'm not behind a camera or teaching about systems, you'll find me at a vineyard or cuddled with my cat Keegan on our cozy couch!
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I can’t believe how quickly this summer has gone. Usually by the end of the long summer break I’m ready, nope, DYING, to get back to the academic year. I’m one of those nuts that gets super excited about back to school shopping for supplies & loves the smell of fresh notebooks (think Hermione from Harry Potter). I was updating my personal photo journal the other day after realizing that I’d been slacking with documenting everything that happened this summer & I wanted to share bits of my summer vacation (of course, with pictures) on here as well. Here’s some great (and not so great) times that happened this summer:


  • Treating my Dad to MooThru for the first time coming home from UVA which he LOVED
  • Driving down to Roanoke for a dance gig & then doing a midnight BK run for food
  • Going to OBX for the first time, making friends with a local dog, eating my weight in crab cakes, and being in a boat right next to really playful dolphins!
  • Finding a match made in heaven with the S’mores Milkshake at Good Stuff Eatery in Georgetown (if you didn’t already know, I have a thing for s’mores)
  • Going to UVA twice within one week for my little brother’s orientation & then midsummers. It was weird being there & not being crazy busy. I also died due to the heat & humidity, gotta love good ol’ Cville
  • Finding new spots in my own area


  • Keeping a running photo journal for 4 years!
  • Watching my brother graduate & him actually ASKING me to take pictures of him & his friends (this is a shocker because he hates pictures & never lets me grab any)
  • Was in a minor car crash which scared the hell out of me. Thankfully the other driver & I were both unhurt 
  • Along with that I just struggled majorly with cars in general. Think broken parking brake, hoods falling down & smoke coming out of the hood. I guess it comes with having a 25 year old car. I’m constantly scared that this will ACTUALLY be the last summer with my car
  • Helping my cousin buy the most beautiful dress for a wedding for an unbelievable price
  • Experiencing my other cousin’s cross-country road trip through his blog & finally FaceTiming him and getting to see his new place & hear about his job in SanFran
  • Enjoying weekend brunches again with eggs benedict, fresh mozarella, pancakes, crepes, and all the good breakfast food. This and our IHOP trip which was something we hadn’t done in a really long time!
  • Becoming good friends with co-workers at my internship and having the best little spontaneous trips & pulling pranks on our boss


  • Buying a flash for my camera and being in love with being able to light pictures in low-light situations so that they’re still super sharp & not grainy (I spot grain like no other)
  • Finally buying Lightroom (and saving hours!!), going back to shooting in RAW (and taking up ALL the storage space with huge files)
  • Attending & taking pictures for a baby shower, IN HEELS, never again (the heels part). Creating my first ever photo album for the event was an interesting time haha
  • Taking two event pictures in the same day & overcoming my introverted nature and genuinely connecting with people I met for the first time
  • Having a GREAT time getting to know people on both sides of the family & celebrating with them and capturing the pre-wedding events for Shahana & Marc. Shahana was even kind enough to invite me to the wedding AS A GUEST! (check out this blog post for the first of the wedding events)
  • Reaching out to some local photographers and getting soo much feedback & advice! 
  • The opportunity to second shoot a wedding!!! I can’t tell you how excited I am (and nervous which hasn’t kicked in quite yet but I’m sure will)
  • Getting my first inquiry from social media 
  • ^ This block is long and that makes me super happy!

This has hands down been the most eventful summer I’ve had so far. There’s been the good times, lots of firsts, big opportunities, good times with friends but there’s also been the crazy, frustrating and scary ones. But all in all, I never would have thought that this is what my summer was going to be like at the beginning and I’m really grateful that it turned out as well as it did! It’s made me a lot more open to new opportunities & taught me that passion can push you past your fear. For anyone who’s still reading this, for anyone who has every supported me with something as simple as a “like” on Facebook or someone who has gone out of their way to write me a message or tell me about their support of my photography in person, I can’t thank you enough. It really means so much to me & there have been so many times that I’ve doubted what I’m doing but your words of encouragement have kept me afloat.

Picture credits of photos taken of me go to my brother Sohum!


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