June 4, 2021


Summer vacation is nearly upon us. Where I live, we’re starting it off with a bang–a couple 90-degree days that is chased with a few days in the 80s. Thank goodness for lakes and floaties and cool beverages and beverage floaties!

The months of June, July, and August are always a good time for to-do lists. Summer vacation is almost like a bonus quarter of the year–it’s a three month chunk to get some things done that are unachievable during other parts of the year for various reason, such as time or weather. I like to start the season off with a few main objectives to make sure I make the most of my time.

This year, I have five things I am really looking forward to this summer vacation:


One of the weird things I’m excited about this summer is that it’s not a true summer anymore. For the last fourteen years summer has meant a break from the day job as a high school English and social studies teacher; it was during these three months that the daydream was allowed to flourish…only to have the dream bubble burst again come fall. Not this year. As of today, I am a full-time wedding and senior portrait photographer, so one of the things I am most excited about this summer vacation is that it isn’t really a vacation anymore. 


I have four trips up the north shore, one trip to Nashville to attend Amber Housely’s Bloom & Grow Live, and then a week in Philadelphia at the end. I should be able to visit three new states (Tennessee, New Jersey, and Delaware) through these excursions…and whether it’s the first time or fortieth time, any time along Lake Superior is time well spent.


One of the things about side hustles is that it effectively becomes your hobby. Now that the side hustle has been upgraded to job, I should have more time to do more things, such as reading. One of the books I cannot wait to get my hands on is Natalie Franke’s new book Built to Belong, which comes out in August. (If you haven’t met Natalie yet, you must! She’s a photographer who created the Rising Tide Society, which emphasizes community over competition. She’s a doll!)


A little-known fact about me is that I love to cook. While writing my trip itinerary, I seek out where and what I am going to eat first (I actually created a food passport for my trips to Israel to be sure I went to all the places I planned and tasted all the food I wanted to try). If I am not traveling physically, I am doing so through my tastebuds; I like to try new recipes from some of my favorite places. I am excited to have some time to experiment in my kitchen. Summer vacation always gives me time to work with my baby herb garden, which is crucial for my cooking.


On the topic of my kitchen…it’s getting a new sink and some shiplap. My bathroom is probably getting a new tub. I am going to use my craftiness to do a few home improvement tasks this summer. It isn’t anything too dramatic, just a few things that need to be done.

What fun do you have waiting for you this summer??

Kayla Lee is a Minnesota-based wedding and elopement photographer. She provides services to elegant, authentic, sentimental couples who not only choose their own adventures, but also live them to the fullest! See more about the KLP Wedding Experience!

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At home on the road. Forever-focused on authenticity and the thrilling art of creation; always found in the moments that leave me breathless and in awe. 

After fourteen years as a high school educator, I stepped back through a door I thought was closed. Journalism came back into my life. Armed with a Masters of Arts in Communication, I was again challenged and prepared to tell the stories that would become history, but with a twist: It is now your legacy of love that I document. The tension I seek is that from every tear, smile, laugh, and moment of love on your wedding day. 


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