Happy Labor Day!

As some of you may know, I have been helping my husband out with a project lately. Last month, his project led him to reconnect with an old college friend from Washington, DC. Meet Kierra.


I promise that they’re actually friends ๐Ÿ˜‰


After wrapping up work on the project, Kierra was our tour guide, while we visited the monuments in the city.


WWII Memorial DC


MLK Jr Memorial DC2015-09-09_0009DC WWII Memorial2015-09-09_0008

Thanks for having us, DC! We will definitely be visiting again soon! What are some of your favorite things to do/sites to see in DC?


My name is…Mylina {my LEE nuh} Russell, but you can call me My. I know. It doesn’t have the same flow that Jay-Z had haha


Photo by Christi Joy Photography

I’m a 27 year old aspiring photographer and blogger living in Lynchburg, Virginia (#ourlynchburg) with my husband of 3 years. As I’m beginning my photography journey, I have loved getting to know the community of creatives on Instagram throughย #thebethadillychallenge and#TheRisingTideSociety. I have had the privilege to get to know some amazing people while photographing families, couples, and maternity sessions while I’m #ontheroadtofulltime. As part of the challenge, here are a few things about me:

  1. I’m not a fan of coffee, but I could live off of milkshakes.
  2. I love dogs and I’m still trying to convince my husband to let me get a Rottweiler (he’s not having it)
  3. I’m slightly obsessed with mountain views and sunsets
  4. I tend to be a walking jukebox (which the hubby loves ๐Ÿ˜œ)
  5. I was 5’2″ in 6th grade and haven’t grown an inch since!
  6. I have a bad habit of double-tapping on Facebook. Clearly, Instagram is my home.
  7. I name things. My camera is Ruby, and my car is Sylvia.
  8. One of my life goals is to have seven children. You read that right. Seven. More on that laterย ๐Ÿ˜œ

I’d love to meet you! Leave a little intro for me in the comments below!

  • Keith L. Bell - Love your new look!!! Proud of your work! Keep it up my sister!ReplyCancel

  • ashton - My camera’s name is LUCY and my car’s name is Black Beauty! You aren’t alone.

    These are great and I loved getting to know you. ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

    • Mylina - Yes! I’m not alone! haha Sad thing about naming my camera is that I don’t know if I could ever sell it (her). Silver lining: I can pass her on to another newbie photographer when I upgrade ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

  • kate - Hey My! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks so much for sharing a little bit about you. i love finding out more things on the personal level about different photographers. I’m Kate. I love owl figurines and sunflower butter. I’m addicted to country music and Fall is my favorite time of the year!ReplyCancel

    • Mylina - Hey Kate! I have this set of owl figurines that I’m sure I’ll post here sometime. I LOVE them! I love meeting other photographers too. I feel like we all just have a collective appreciation for fall haha. The whole season is just eye candy. ๐Ÿ™‚ I can get down with a little country music too! hahaReplyCancel

  • Emily - Love it! How nice to meet you!ReplyCancel

  • Wendy - Girrrrl, if you want to have seven children, you had better start to like coffee, lol! I have four and I neeeeeed it! (Off to think of a name for my camera …)ReplyCancel

    • Mylina - Haha you’re probably right Wendy! More power to you with four kids. I’ve been wrestling with the notion of balancing a photography business with children. I know obviously it can be done, but I want to make sure that I do each one well. I’ve met some rockstar entrepreneurs who are parents though. I guess I’ll just have to figure it out as I go!ReplyCancel

  • Amelia - This is the best intro! Cute tidbits about you! I’m excited you have joined the photography world and I am looking forward to seeing where it goes for you! Keep up the great work!ReplyCancel

    • Mylina - Aww thanks Amelia! I appreciate the encouragement. I feel like the blog is getting a little heavy on info about me. There will be sessions up soon, I promise! haha thanks for reading!ReplyCancel

      • Amelia - Mylina the best thing about a blog is growing with it! You’ll learn alot about it your first year ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

  • Kelsey - Hello Mylina! What a beautiful photo of you ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

    • Mylina - Thank you! Having photog friends is truly a blessing! ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

  • Clara - You started this blog with a Jay-Z lyric…..you literally had me from hello. Oh and my car’s name is Patty….Patty the Prius =] Great intro!ReplyCancel

    • Mylina - Haha Clara, I can’t help it! Walking Jukebox ๐Ÿ˜‰ Patty the Prius! I love it! This sounds better out loud, but mine is Sylvia the Silver CRV ๐Ÿ˜‰ Sometimes, I’m corny and it’s okay! haha thanks for rockin with me!ReplyCancel

  • Valerie - I loved this intro! And you totally need to get a dog! There make the best pet/companion/friend/family member ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

    • Mylina - Oh yes! My husband’s never had a dog before…but he’ll learn ๐Ÿ˜‰ReplyCancel

  • Christina FV - Holy Moly 7 kids!! Love the info about you. It’s great to put a personality with a pretty picture!ReplyCancel

    • Mylina - Yeah we’ll see how this goes haha. Thanks and thanks for reading!ReplyCancel

  • Lillian - Wow I didn’t realize the photos along the bottom lead to blog posts! Haha shows how Internet savvy I am. But I am loving this blog! And these photos of you ๐Ÿ™‚ p.s. I liked your other blog as well, and I think it would be a good idea to post a link to that one as you mentioned before.ReplyCancel

  • Molly - I couldn’t survive without coffee
    I love all animals and my dream animal to hold is a red panda #bucketlist
    My husband wants a that kind of dog…we will see lol We currently have two cats! And my hubby and I are coming up in our first year of marriage! what what!!
    Thank you for sharing a little more about you!ReplyCancel

  • Robyn - Seven?! Uh, get started now please. I gotta get some auntie practice in now so I can be the favorite by the time #3-7 come alongReplyCancel


Good morning (afternoon or evening, depending on when you’re reading this)! Author Stephen Covey talks about beginning with the ending in mind.ย Since we’re just kicking things off here at MylinaRussell.com, I wanted to take a moment to talk about my why. I never want to start something without knowing why I’m doing it. I think it’s easier to get burned out or overwhelmed if you fail to think about where you’re going and why.

I initially became interested in photography as a way to document my life. I have always wanted to journal, but I’ve never been great at keeping up with it. For me photos allow us to revisit moments in our lives that we want to always remember. I love the lifestyle approach because it allows for a more natural depiction of relationships and moments as they happen. I never want to forget this season of marriage when it’s just my husband and myself, building a life together. At the same time, I am so excited about the idea of documenting the lives of my future children as they go throughout life. As I started getting requests from friends and coworkers, I learned that I wasn’t alone in this desire to hold on to memories. I have been so honored to be able to photograph these couples and families as well. I cannot even express how grateful I am to have a part in this with you.

This desire to never forget is what made me begin this blog as well. I never want to forget where I started. Whether I make a full-time career out of photography in the future or not, I want to keep this place online to go back and remember where I was in September of 2015. I don’t want to forget the struggle. What significance does a glorious “after” have if we forget how the “before” looked? So I have to say in all honesty that my skill in photography is not where I want it to be. Truth be told, this website is a work in progress too, but I know the struggle won’t be here forever. I don’t want the desire for perfection to keep me from ever getting started. I’m pressing on toward the glorious after. Let’s do this!


  • Valerie - It’s great to write this all out so you can remember how far you have come many years down teh road!ReplyCancel

  • amelia - Love this! You sound like you have a very good “why” and a great plan going forward! Keep up the great work!ReplyCancel

    • Mylina - Thank you, Amelia! I’m hoping that I’ll be able to stay focused on this.ReplyCancel

  • Suzanne McNeil - So good! (Fun business cards, too!)ReplyCancel

  • karen - “What significance does a glorious โ€œafterโ€ have if we forget how the โ€œbeforeโ€ looked?” Love that part it’s like never forgetting where you came from. ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

    • Mylina - Yes! So often, we try to sweep the “before” under the rug. Let’s be genune. Let’s be honest about our struggle and build each other up!ReplyCancel

  • Elisa - Great post, lots of wisdom in it ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

  • Clara - Looking back at your old work is SO humbling! I have an old personal blog that I used to write in a few years ago and I’m so glad it’s there. Keep this up! You’ll appreciate it in a year or two =]ReplyCancel

    • Mylina - Oh yes, Clara! I am working on clearing out my external hard drive and I was JUST thinking about humbling this was — even at this stage!I toyed with the idea of linking this to my old blog too. I’m all about fresh starts, but I’ll probably post the link to my old blog too. I still stand by the photos, but it’s mostly me rambling lolReplyCancel

  • Molly Sanchez - Love this – It is a good reminder of all the things to be grateful for!ReplyCancel


I was driving down the highway last night and noticed that the leaves have already started to change! It’s technically not fall yet, but it made me excited. This year is already flying by, but we’re about to enter my absolute favorite season! It got me thinking about the season of change that I am entering in my own life. As I looked at my 30 before 30 list (more on that later), I realized that the goals that I had last year aren’t the same goals that I have now. My life is about to shift in a way that I have never experienced. My husband Brandon and I are staring head on at a potential relocation to a different state, which will come with changes in employment, a new local church, and new friends. It is scary to think about, but I’m excited.

I think that at times in our lives we can only grow if we are pushed past our comfort levels. The past couple of years that we have spent in Virginia have certainly been familiar and comfortable, but I am ready for different. I think it’s time for not only a change in scenery but an internal change. There are so many things that I don’t want to carry with me into next year. What better time to start working on change than right now?

I decided to start this blog because I never want to forget my starting point. It is only in looking back that I can appreciate how far I’ve come. I’m not alone in this, though. I know that there are people who are hungry and ready for change too — whether it’s in learning something new, losing weight, kicking a bad habit. Let’s shake off the old and look forward to starting something new. ‘Tis the season. Are you with me?

  • Karen - Great post! My husband and I went through the same out of state move and this past year there have been changes in all sorts of places, mindset, business, relationship. Even though we’re moving back to our “comfort zone location” I feel as though its a new me going back and not the old me that was there before ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope your move goes smoothly and that you settle in well ^_^ReplyCancel

    • Mylina - Thanks Karen! I love what you said about a new you going back. In some ways, that might be harder than starting over somewhere new! I hope your transition goes smoothly as well!ReplyCancel

  • amelia - great inspirational post! keep up the good work, girl!ReplyCancel

  • molly - That is going to be soo crazy. I hope moving and everything goes well. My husband and I just switched churches recently So I know changing is not always easy but at the end of the day you still have each other whenever you need that sense of familiar!ReplyCancel