Dreaming with my eyes open

Last night, I danced under the most perfect Indiana sky, surrounded by fog, camera in-hand, in one of my favorite outfits, with one of my best friends. 

I truly felt like I was dreaming with my eyes open. 

Photo by: Reagan Lynn Photography

Photo by: Reagan Lynn Photography

(Scroll to the bottom for photos)

Reagan and I had made a trip to downtown Indianapolis for a photographer meet-up hosted by one of our favorite photogs (@zacharyraber). We decided to make the trip a few weeks ago and wanted to make a day out of it. We arrived early to eat brunch at Cafe Patachou. 

We were a little pessimistic at first... it had been pouring down rain all morning, it was cold, and although we enjoyed our food, afterwards we couldn't get the parking meter to work. We looked at each other, with our camera gear around our necks and both in matching rain coats and said, "This better be worth it." 

Once we finally got parked and to the meet-up location at the Indiana State Museum, we couldn't find the group and had no clue where to go. It felt a little disorganized and we were still questioning if this trip was worth our precious gas money. 

After finding a group of people that were also lost, but also looking for the meet-up, we finally got to where we were supposed to be. There was a lot of disorganization and no one really knew what was going on (a model pointed out that a woman was clearly not in charge of this meet-up, haha). 

The day was filled with a couple hours of shooting along the canal, drizzling rain, a lot of squatting in bushes and bumping elbows with other photographers (oh and free hats!). Surrounded by 20 other creatives, it was an awesome day. A group of us went to a cute coffee shop afterwards called the Thirsty Scholar. We were all obsessing over the perfect lighting and marble tables the entire time. 

After an hour of talking, laughing, Instagram photos, and hand-modeling, it was time to get on the road home (making a quick stop in front of an ivy-wall in the parking lot). 

Reagan and I started the walk back to the car, talking about all of the wall art, abandoned buildings, and what a day it had been. We were satisfied. 

We had been on the road for about 10 minutes when we noticed how the fog was hanging low by the river. Before either of us commented on how breathtaking it looked, we both knew we had to stop. 

As Reagan drove forward, the sun was setting faster and we were getting discouraged that there would be no place to pull off on the side of the road. She took the first possible right that we approached and our hearts sunk a little when we saw that the river just didn't look quite as magical from that side. 

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Until we saw the bridge ahead, with the perfect pull-off location. The sun was the perfect hues of pink, blue, and orange and the fog was rolling in. We both jumped out of the car, screaming to each other with excitement. 

As we were running around, switching outfits, dancing around, freaking out about how this was the most perfect photo location and moment in the entire world, I felt so alive and inspired. 

I can't even begin to tell you how much I love what I do. Although, I sometimes have doubt about my career choice. My passion. My hobby. My whole life revolves around photography, and I have questioned if that was the right decision. Will I make enough money? Will I get enough business? Will I keep improving? Will I get burnt out? 

Let me tell you that tonight confirmed that I'm doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing. You see, photographers see the world differently and unless you are one, I can't really describe how it looks. Abandoned buildings, a row of matching trash cans, rusted down vehicles, a laundromat, raggedy clothes, parking garages, and crumbling walls all look magical to us. The perfect backdrop. So when you give us a PERFECT SUNSET and add fog to it, that's just something I can't put into words. 

I may not have it all figured out, but I would not give up the way I see the world and the way I photograph it for anything. 

So here's to the nights we feel alive and so in the moment that nothing else matters. I say that I felt like I was dreaming with my eyes open last night, but if we are being honest I get to dream with my eyes open every time I'm behind my camera. Oh how lucky I am. 

Here's to the next adventure. 

For bookings visit:

Stylized Water Session // Indiana Adventure Photographer // Muncie, Indiana

This was by far my favorite session I have ever had. 


Do you ever get an image in your head of how you want something to look and it doesn't come out quite like you pictured? This was NOT one of those times. I sent out a model call a couple months ago and Indianapolis based model Christine Tate (@christinelouistate) reached out to me. I knew she was perfect for the water session I had been thinking up in my head. She also put me into contact with the amazing Indianapolis based makeup artist, Evian Does Makeup (@eviandoesmakeup). 


I have wanted to do a collab session for so long, and this was such a dream session for my first one! 


Christine's metallic nails and smokey makeup fit perfect with the water and mix of warm and cool tones. 

Contact Evian at for more information about her work!

This right here is my all time favorite photo, I am so proud of this piece of work and it will be featured in my gallery at Cornerstone Center for the Arts that opens Sept. 7, 2017 from 5-8 p.m. and will be open throughout the whole month of September. 

This right here is my all time favorite photo, I am so proud of this piece of work and it will be featured in my gallery at Cornerstone Center for the Arts that opens Sept. 7, 2017 from 5-8 p.m. and will be open throughout the whole month of September. 

Click through the photos below to check out more of my top picks from this session:

*Interested in booking a water session or just a normal portrait session? Check out my contact page or send me an email at 

I'd love to set up an adventure with you! 

A long-distance friendship

I’ve been thinking about life and people and friendships a lot lately. My most recent blog post was about my long-time best friend who I met in kindergarten.

As I’ve said before, I tend to expect a lot out of friendships. I want meaningful connections, or just people that I know I can count on. Since I’ve been in college, I’ve tried so hard to meet people. I’m sure it’s my millennial-side getting the best of me, but I always get so jealous when I see these perfect friendships on social media. I watch a lot of Youtubers and bloggers and they all seem to have a perfect group of people that have similar interests, and for the last three years I have so desperately wanted that.

I’m heading into my senior year of college and I’m working on just appreciating what I have in my life and the good people around me.

One of those people lives (roughly) 1,131 miles away from me.

A long-distance friendship of about 21 years now.

Nick (photos below).  

By far one of the strangest, goofiest, but best people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

We became childhood friends because our mom’s became best friends in college and so my family would take trips out to Colorado a lot when I was younger.

Thanks to the internet and our parents letting us get AIM in elementary school and cell phones in middle school, our friendship continued on past just the younger years.

This has been such a strange friendship over the years, one that I’m so thankful for though.

We’ve always said our friendship works because we are enough removed from each others lives that we can talk about stuff, but we know enough about each other that we’re still close.

Sometimes life can be hard. Just to think about, deal with, figure out.

Nick’s that person in my life that will let me complain about anything from my heart burn to real life problems, but he’s brutally honest enough that he calls me out on my crap or when I’m being too dramatic.

Don’t get me wrong, he sucks at replying back sometimes and purposely ignores me when I’m being needy and tells me we have nothing in common…

I know he’d miss me if I wasn’t around though.

And the thing is, even if I have forced him to Skype with me or listen to songs I send him or other weird stuff, he’s always been there for me.

Through dealing with crappy friends, heartbreak, and family issues -- whenever I truly need him he’s always there.

He’s helped me realize that social media is stupid and you should never give anyone, ever your whole heart.

Don’t get me wrong, he drives me nuts. I always overthink everything and he tells me to do the opposite.

He’s helped make life a little less lonely though and always makes leaving Colorado harder each time.

And for that I am so thankful. To all the more years of friendship & adventures coming. 

Appreciate those around you, close by or far. 

"After all, things change, so do cities, people come into your life and they go. But it's comforting to know that the ones you love are always in your heart... and if you're very lucky, a plane ride away." 


(more photos below) 


As the years go by, a friendship that will never die

You know those people that you meet and just click with? 

It's hard for me to find people like that. 

With a mix of me being an introvert & just being stubborn with the types of people I let into my life, I'm picky when it comes to getting close with people. 

I always try to not be too cliche or sad when I make blog posts, but I also try to be genuine. I've had a lot of people surprise me the last few years. 

College is this weird time where you're ready to move on from a lot of things from high school, but find yourself, while losing a lot of people you used to be close to in the process. 

I sometimes think my problem is that I only want meaningful friendships. I want to know that people care about me as much as I care about them and I want to see effort put in. 

I know that may sound dumb, and you may be thinking, "who doesn't want meaningful friendships?" 

Going to a university with nearly 20,000 people, you meet a lot of different personalities. And those little interactions do mean a lot. It's more like networking for a lot of people though. Students like getting connections and knowing who people are, but to create a full on, meaningful friendship with someone takes a lot of work. 

I'm so happy for all of the people I've met within my major and organizations and clubs that I have joined over the last three years, but goodness is it hard to find people that I mesh with. 

As much as I am complaining, I've been so beyond lucky to have a best friend in my life for nearly 17 years now. 17 years. 

Whitney Coffman. 

Like I said earlier, I have trouble clicking with people and trusting them. Whitney is that person that I click with though, and I probably never appreciate her as much as I should.

We have very different personalities, but we just get each other. She knows what I'm thinking before I say it and we can read each other's side-eye looks from across the room. And even with all the crazy stuff that has happened in our lives over almost two decades, she always has my back. Whether I'm thinking about making an irrational decision, applying for a job, or can't decide what shirt to wear--she's always there. 

I've spent so much of college looking for certain types of people and certain types of friendships, sometimes you forget how lucky you are with what you've always had. 

I took these photos of Whitney last weekend when we made a spontaneous stop on the Cardinal Greenway on our way home from ice cream. I was inspired by #TakeMorePicsOfUrFriends & appreciating little moments. 

In honor of National Best Friend Day, I hope you enjoyed this post & I hope you love & appreciate your best friend as much as I do mine. 

"That's when I realized what a true friend was. Someone who would always love you--the imperfect you, the confused you, the wrong you--because that is what people are supposed to do." -r.j.l.

Love you always, Whitney. Thank you for everything.


Samantha Rose Photography