March 29, 2010

Time for Change

Hey all,

I know it's been a really really really long time since I've updated my blog. So many things have happened in a short amount of time. I've been busy portfolio building and figuring out my niche. I absolutely have fallen in love with capturing beauty and the emotions that go with it. The month of February blew by and before I knew it I was afforded the opportunity to fly to Vegas for WPPI for 4 days. It was the opportunity of a lifetime for me and I'm so thankful to my friend Katrina Wheeler for winning me the ticket. There was so much to see and so much to learn. It was vastly overwhelming and yet extremely empowering for me. I met tons of wonderful people and got to hear the most valuable speakers talk about the things I have been looking forward to learning. I need to take the time to sit down and write out my entire experience before it slowly fades and turns into other opportunities.

I am currently working on revamping my blog and website so be on the look out for exciting changes in my blog site and website. This Wednesday, I am attending a workshop given by the always wonderful and humble Dane Sanders. I cannot wait to take it all in and use the knowledge to benefit the work I want to do as an artist. So, to visually catch up a bit, I'm just going to add a few pics from the past month to catch a few of you up on my work. If you want to see more, you can follow me on Facebook. Hope you all have a blessed day.

So, that sort of sums the past month and a half up.  More detail posts to come. 


February 8, 2010

The Bridge Is Out!!!

Super Bowl, how many of you watched it? I rarely ever watch the Super Bowl. We all know the commercials are always a big hit. Most of them are HILARIOUS and some of them, well not so much. Yeturday I watched the entire game for the first time in years. We're not really big sports fans and it was very last minute to invite people, but we had some friends over and sat to enjoy the game. The kids had plenty of movies upstairs to keep them entertained and when they heard the adults cracking up because of the commercials, they always came runnin' to see what was so funny. There was one particular commercial that really made more of an impact on me than just a funny commercial to enjoy during the "Big Game". Watch this commercial from Budweiser first before I share my inner most thoughts on this....cause I know you're just dying to know what I think right????

So what do you think about that? Besides it's a great commercial. Did it make you think about working together? Did it make you think, "What if the guy on the second pillar decided he didn't want to be there?" I thought about this and realized that we need people in all aspects of our life alot more than we are willing to admit. What if someone in my family decides they just don't want to contribute anymore. It breaks down somewhere. Or if a wedding coordinator decides she's just going to stick around for the first half and let the rest of the wedding happen on it's own. (This has not happened to me thank goodness) But we all play a very special part in the things we are involved in. And since you are certainly part of something that means YOU are special and important and play a difinitive role somewhere you are needed. Don't forget that, EVER!!! Anyone who knows me, knows I want the world to be a "Happy Place". I'm always telling jokes, or saying funny one-liners to lighten a mood and I'm very passionate about people feeling good about themselves. So I couldn't let this great example pass me by without using it as a parrallel to show people how much they mean. Have a great day and be CONFIDENT that you bring something to the BRIDGE that holds everything together.


February 3, 2010

Cast Member + Guest = Magic

It's a Magical thing...that place called DISNEY!!! I used to work there, did you know that about me? Bet ya didn't. This is a little insight into me.

I've been reading a few blogs lateley, not stalking, just reading and getting some insight into some other people just to get to know them a little better. I follow a blog called MomTog. It's a site for moms who love photography. And I read a post that you can read here about asking for comments on your own blog. I'm truly inspired by DrewB and her passion for her relationship with her clients. But this post got me thinking in a positive way. How can I help people get to know me better? Drew writes in this post and I'm quoting "If you notice, a lot of photographers who get a lot of comments are also photographers who tell the story of the clients. It gets people more emotionally invested in the pictures. You don’t have to be a great writer and it doesn’t have to be a novel. Just a few words about what makes your clients different and unique is enough." I want people to enjoy the experience they get when I take their pictures. I think there should be value in what a client is getting. How do you think the "Magic" happens at Disneyland? (I'm a CA girl, so "land" is where I call it) It's the behind the scenes stuff you don't see. It's past those doors that say CAST MEMBERS ONLY BEYOND THIS POINT. They want you to enjoy and fall in love with the fantasy.

I have been behind the scenes. Both at Disney and in the world of planning a wedding. I had the pleasure of helping several couples plan their day as a wedding coordinator for a few magical years in my life. And as the "Big Day" arrived it was sheer joy to start the day with the bride, see how she was feeling, pray with her, serve her and get her all the things she needed to feel like a Princess on her Magical Day. And to lighten the mood with a nervous Groom. Having brothers was very helpful in being able to joke with the guys and not feel stupid. So as the ceremony unfolded and the vows were said I felt like I was emotionally invested in this couple. That's the same way I feel about being a photographer. Weddings especially. I'm not just there to take your picture. I'm there to share your story with the world, or just your family, however you want to shout from the mountaintops. But I love getting to know you and spending time with you. I'm the person that always stays longer than I should because I love being around people.

So do I want you to leave comments on my blog? Not necessarily. Do I want you to get to know me better as a person? Of course I do. Because I want you to know who you're inviting into your life. All the fluff comes with it, the nice pictures and great service. Your needs matter to me because people matter to me. That sounds so corny..but it's coming from a genuine place in my heart...promise.

So in getting to know people better, I've met an amazing new friend in our world of photography because of a photo she posted on Dane Sander's Facebook page. She lives about an hour from me and we've connected like we've known each other our whole life. We met at the Atlanta Zoo for an afternoon together and had so much fun being silly and taking pictures like total tourists. Katrina Wheerler is an amazing photographer and I know she's an amazing friend already. She inspires me and pushes me to go beyond what I'm capable of. I'm glad I met her and can't wait to spend more time with her.

January 17, 2010

Simplicity in 2010

Why is simplicity such a hard concept to grasp? Keep it simple, just the basics, are all the things you hear from people who have simplicity in their life. I on the other hand like to complicate everything. Why is that? Simple shouldn't be that hard, that's why it's called Simple!!!! So, besides Balance, this is something I'm striving for in this next year. Now I know we're already half way into the first month of the year, but I've been busy. Making things more simplified in my life. I haven't been ignoring my blog or my readers, I'm setting the stage to make it possible to be more involved. But getting more involved is not simplifying things you say. Well, if there's balance and simplicity in areas of my life that are not normally that way, then I have the time and energy to concentrate on other aspects of my life.

I've been cleaning house. A little "spring cleaning" early. How much stuff do we really need? If you know anything about me, then you know that if I see a great deal, I try to figure out how it can work into my life. Like these bookshelves I have. They were given to me from a friend who was not able to sell them in a garage sale. Did I really "need" them. Well I found a way to need them. I unpacked some books I wanted out, I added more framed pictures and bought some cute decor' to go on top of them. But what's that? Just more to clean, just more stuff to take up space I don't need taken up. So, I've simplified the situation and I'm getting rid of the bookshelves. My office has been rearranged and things are getting put in storage that don't need to be out. Let me tell you, the thrift store is more than happy to see my car load of stuff driving up.

During the past month things have slowed down a bit for A & O Photography, which is ok. It's not important to be busy all the time. It's the beginning of the year. It's been cold here in Georgia. Who wants pictures when it's raining and cold outside? It has given me the opportunity to SIMPLIFY things here behind the scenes. I'm anxiously awaiting for the weather to warm up a bit and to get out there and rock it out with my clients. Valentines Day is coming and soon to follow will be Spring, so I'm certain that when love is in bloom and so are the flowers we can get FIERCE and FABULOUS!!!

I hope that you are all working on your changes for the year. It's encouraging to hear when other people are working right along with you to make things better for themselves and their families as well. And since it's usually more appealing to have a picture with a post, I've added a picture that makes me think of SIMPLICITY.

I took this picture on a little mini vaca hubby and I got to go on last year to a Ritz Carlton Hotel and always wanted to take a picture that looked like this.

Take the time to simplify things in your life.

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I can't believe it's 2010. How do you even pronounce that? Twenty ten? Two Thousand and 10....I don't know. All I know is that it's a NEW YEAR and I'm ready for exciting things to come. I've been spending a lot of hours thinking and planning for the possibilites of the new year. It's a fresh start and there are so many opportunities out there that I can't wait to get my hands on. I have to admit that I was a bit nervous about "blogging". I thought I might not sound right, or might not have the right vocabulary to sound "fancy and fru fru" for my readers. But hey, guess what, it's a new year and I can try fun and new things. I want to primarily use this blog to give my clients and readers the ability to see what's new and exciting in my world of photography. For my clients, this will give them the chance to get a sneak peak of their session and the ability to share their pictures with others. For my readers, well, you all can just enjoy the ride. I'm sure it won't be dull.

Resolutions!!! Do any of you make them on January 1? I usually make unrealistic "New Year's Resolutions". This year, let's just start out a little slower. How about starting simple with something like BALANCE? That's a good start. I can't get into too much trouble with that one, well actually I can, but I'm going to try not to. Being a wife, mother of two busy boys and a business owner makes for a very interesting, yet exciting, life. I need balance. I need to work on balance and I need help from the ones I love to help me keep a healthy balance. So let's just see how that goes and then we'll add something else to the list.

It's the first day of 2010. And I said I wanted balance. So here I sit, in front of my computer, typing away on my blog getting ready to give you all a "Sneaky Peak" at my first photo shoot of the year...yes on the first day of the year. Is that really balance? Well, as long as I don't do one tomorrow too. I'm trying, really I am. So this morning Mackenzi, Brandi and I set off to brave the cold to get some early Senior photos done. The girls were cold, but patient with me and it helped that we brought some hot chocolate along to keep us a bit warmer. Be on the look out for some more updates and be sure to check out my new website.

Thanks girls for stickin' it out in the cold weather. You were both amazing and beautiful.

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