Sunday, November 21, 2010

Keeping your eyes on the prize.

Yesterday, a friend, whom also happens to be a photographer, IM'ed me on Facebook with one of these.... :( When I asked her what was wrong...she told me that she was unhappy with her website, blog, whole brand, everything...and she wanted to re-do it all. I was baffled. She had literally JUST re-done her brand very recently and it looked great! I loved what she was doing with her business. And just a few weeks prior, she had been happy too. So where was all of this coming from???

And then I knew.

I asked her, "Be completely honest, does this have anything to do with other photographers you know making advances in their businesses lately?". She then admitted that yes, this was a large part of it. She saw how well her peers were doing and rather than celebrating with them and using this positive energy to build off of and improve her own self...she just felt left behind...

I COMPLETELY understand this feeling. I've been there more times than I care to say. And I still find myself there occasionally, when I let my guard down. Hearing about someone else's booked up they are, while your own calendar is left un-marked, seeing their brand new website, mind-blowing photographs...and feeling like...why not me?

This conversation with my friend really got me thinking about this and how much I have improved in this area over time. I think it happened one day over the summer when I wasted an entire day looking at other photographer's blogs. Don't get me wrong...I LOVE looking at blogs. But this was different...and I had been doing it off and on for awhile. I wasn't checking in on a friend's blog to see what they've been up to. I was looking at everything in comparison to myself. Looking at blogs from photographers with YEARS of experience on me, making myself miserable thinking about how long it would take me to get as good as them. I wasted all of those precious hours, that I could have spent shooting, blogging, or just doing ANYTHING productive....agonizing over everything that I wasn't.

After that day, I took a break from paying attention to everyone else and brought my focus back 100% to where it belonged. ON MY OWN BUSINESS. Things changed then. My outlook was a million times more positive. I'm back to my regular blog-surfing now, but it's all in a different light. I don't look at what others are doing to compare it to my own progress. I look out of pure interest and admiration. I see people thriving all around peers, my friends. And never once since my "blog-detox" have I felt left behind. Why? Because my dedication is to my own growth, not just sitting back and watching everyone elses. And truthfully...I like to believe that success is contagious ;)

So what I told my friend is.....Don't worry about them. Worry about you. Their success certainly was not bringing her down and she knew it. She actually was happy for them. The only thing that was getting her down was her attitude towards her own business. So my hope is that this very lovely friend of mine will take my advice and remember just what this whole thing is about. Moving forward at her own rate, even if it's in different ways and at a different pace than her peers. (Friend, you know who you are! And I happen to think you're doing amazing!)

So is it a competitive market? WELL DUH!! We all know it is. Even the best of friends are competing for clients when they're in the same industry, whether they believe it or not. But here's a little something to think about...when you first got started in the business...was your goal to give your utmost best to your clients, and produce photographs that they will forever cherish? Or was it just to compete with the other photographers around you and make sure you're always doing better? I'm assuming it was and still is, the first one. If your main priority is the second one and you're aware of it and okay with it...well then maybe you should re-think your direction/purpose in this industry! Ya feel me?

All I'm saying is....Success should not be relative. If you're doing good, you're doing matter what everyone else is doing.

And uh...yeah, that's all! :)

Well since I refuse to blog without atleast one photo...I went digging through my hard drive for something to share and came across this. And it made me laugh! Shannon Morse snapped this at a wedding she was shooting with me over the summer. I was showing the little girl the picture I took of her, and I love her reaction! :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Limited Time Holiday Special + Gift Ideas.

Want to give someone an extra special gift this holiday? One of the only gifts that will last forever? This season, spoil a loved one with a one of a kind photo session.... AND for a limited time, you can do it at a discounted rate :)

Until Christmas, or until the limited amount sell out, you will have the opportunity to purchase the above certificate for $150 for a total savings of $60 off of regular price. This gift certificate includes a full session, disc of final images, and an 8x10 print. If you have been thinking about giving someone the gift of photography or purchasing a session for yourself, now is the time! This is the last time I will offer a special this low...and with my portrait prices going up a bit in 2011 this is the best way to optimize your savings!

Here's a few ideas for how this gift can be given!

-Guys...give your woman a unique gift by purchasing a certificate that can be used as a couple or family session.

-Ladies...spice up the holidays for your man by purchasing a certificate and using it towards a boudoir session of yourself!(and maybe even make him a custom calendar for 2011???)

-Siblings....pitch in together and get on your parent's good side by doing a session of yourselves and giving the photos to them for Christmas OR saving the certificate to give to them for family photos of everyone!

-Parents...purchase your son or daughter's senior photo session in advance and give them the gift of personalized senior photos that will stand out from the ordinary!

-Friends and the certificate to any loved one who is soon expecting a little one, just started a family, is newly married, celebrating an anniversary, or would simply want photos for any occasion!

-All certificates must be purchased before Christmas day.
-The receiver of the certificate must contact me by March 1st to set a date for their session. (certificate becomes invalid if no contact is made before that date)
-Extra fees apply for travel of more than 80 miles round trip.
-Extra fees apply for sessions with families larger than 5 members.

I anticipate the limited quantity I am offering to sell out quickly, so don't hesitate! Email me at to purchase yours!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My weekend in Chicago.

About 2 weeks ago, I packed my bags and headed to Chicago to see my lovely friend Sarah Barlow and help her out with shooting a wedding. If you follow my twitter or my facebook page, you probably remember all of my excited tweets and posts in anticipation of leaving and extra excited ones when I finally arrived...because well...I was EXCITED. And for good reason. The trip was amazing....I got to see an old friend, meet some new ones, explore a new city, and soooooo much more. The weekend went by so fast that we didn't take as many photos as I would have liked but here's a few for a visual re-cap :)

THIS would be the always fabulous, Sarah Barlow. On the last day, we headed out to take some photos of each other and this is one of my favorites of Sarah. This is what she looks like 96% of the time. She's just a big ball of HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHHAHAHHAHA!!!!!!!!!

On this trip, I encountered another HILARIOUS person who goes by the name of Emily. This girl is a crack-up. I swear, if photography ever doesn't work out for her...she's got huge potential in the comedy world!!!!

And on another note...I got a few pictures taken of myself :) But you'll be seeing those at a later time....

Can I just say that I LOOOOOOOOOOOVVVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEE the Barlow family. They are so great, I honestly wouldn't mind becoming a permanent fixture in their household. Getting back rubs every five minutes and waking up singing every morning, I love it!
Among them would be my Illinois BFF, Natalie, of course. (No need to tell me, I already enrolled for Jacket Buttoning 101 after seeing this picture, don't even worry.)

Myself with two of my favorites, Natalie and Emily!!!

Sarah and I do make a cute couple, dontcha think? For some reason this is what we thought would be fun to do while we waited for the ceremony to start on the wedding day!

I wish this was a real ornament...not just our reflections in a plain one...I would buy it!!!!!!!

And lastly, if you're ready for it..... I would like to present Sarah and I's 2010 Christmas card photo.... If you're on the mailing list, you might just get lucky enough to find one in your mailbox. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!

But before I forget.....It wouldn't be fair to blog about my trip to Chicago and not share the video that had us laughing all weekend. You must watch it!!! Ellen is so funny :)
"People tell me sometimes that I have the skin of baby peaches"

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ryan&Cassie: Chino Hills/Riverside Engagement.

Ryan and Cassie got engaged on Christmas Eve. Dinner had just finished up at Ryan's mother's house and the whole family was around. Ryan came up to Cassie and asked her if she remembered how he told her a few days ago that the ring she liked was sold. Cassie replied, "yes", she remembered him telling her this but didn't know what relevance it had at the moment. Ryan then got down on one knee and said "They sold it to me".

I LOVE this story...just like I loved hearing other snippets of their history as Cassie shared stories with me during our consultation. It was all straight out of a they met when they sat next to eachother in Biology class in high school, fell in love...and the rest is history.

After 12 years, these two will be tying the knot in October 2011 and I am so honored and excited to be a part of it. For their engagement session, I couldn't think of a better place to shoot than the place where it all began, their high school. Check out the fun shots we got there, followed by some scenic ones in Riverside :)

May look like just another door, but this door is special. It's the door to the classroom where they first met! :)

And now for the shots we got in Riverside...

My favorite of the day :)


Don't be mistaken...this next one was not a pose. I was walking ahead, scouting out the next location, while Cassie and Ryan followed behind. I turned around and quickly snapped this. Ryan was carrying her so she didn't have to hike the paths in her heeled boots. TOO sweet, right? :)

And that's a wrap for this post! But that's enough cuteness to last you for the whole day!!! Lots more blogposts coming this week, stay posted! :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

NYC bound!!!

I can't begin to tell you how much I ADORE this place. New York City. Everything about it...the energy, the fast pace, the "larger than life" feel. If you've been there..I'm sure you know. I've been there 3 times and it's never been enough. I always want to stay longer, and I'm always ready to go back, the second I board my plane. The last visit was a few years ago and I've been aching to return. There were several "almost" trips this year, but none of them ended up working out. With next month being December, I had pretty much given up hope on seeing the Big Apple this year. Strangely enough, on my flight home from Chicago this Monday I had a strange feeling it would not be my last flight of the year. Almost a certainty that I would be going on another trip before the end of 2010. I don't know what brought on this feeling...but the funny thing is....I WAS RIGHT.

Wednesday Morning. My mom asks if I have plans for the weekend of December 18th. I mentally file through my calendar and reply "no....why.....?". And she screams " CAUSE I JUST WON A TRIP TO NEW YORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Okay...let's pause here so I can fill you in. You've got to understand my mom and her history of wins. Ever since I can remember, she has been entering every radio, online, tv, magazine contest you can imagine. She's always been a stay-at-home mom, raising my sister and I, while my dad worked. So in these years, she picked up a love for contests that grew more and more exciting with every win. Hours and hours a day of entering contests from all over. But don't think it has been wasted energy....I've lost track of her wins. Cars, trips, concert tickets, meet and greets, money, and the list just goes on.... Let's just say, life was never boring :) Most people who don't understand the amount of time she puts in, instantly mistake it for luck. Which could be alot of it. But a good amount is persistence and she definitely has it(which the whole family is always thankful for!). She's in it to win it and has never given up even after dry times when no wins come in for awhile. Because we all know they will come...and they do....

My mom's name was selected out of 5000 entries for a round trip for 4 to New York City for 2 nights. Hotel, flights, tickets to see the Rockette's and a back stage meet and greet....all incuded. It's safe to say I am THRILLED. It's still sinking in that in a little over a month I will be back to the big city. AND, at Christmas time. A time a have never been and that has been on my bucket list for quite awhile. Not to mention...just a mere week before our 3 year anniversary I will be bringing my boyfriend for his first visit to the city I love. It really is such a blessing and I couldn't be happier. On another note, our time there will be pretty short...but I will have time to squeeze in one session if you're in that area and would like to book with me! Just send me an e-mail at

Well there's my exciting news I had to share. Best believe I've already started the countdown too :) Hope everyone has a great week!!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Jeanette: After Hours Portrait Session.

Here's Miss Jeanette...she's a spicy one. (Hahaha that looks funnier in text than it sounded in my head, for some reason). She's quite the fashion-savvy lady and is going to school to be a personal stylist. It definitely shows in how she dresses herself! She had me drooling as she pulled out the different outfits she would be wearing for the session...girl's got style. We started the session at 10pm due to highly conflicting schedules and we're practically asleep by the was quite an adventure(a freeeeezingggg one). But my hope is that you would never see the struggles we experienced by looking at the photos and only know of them because I just told you ;P See what you think!

Oh you fancy, huh? (all of these photos evoke lines from hip hop songs in my mind for some reason!!!)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Breanna&Matt: Temecula wedding.

So maybe some of you remember this post from my Facebook Page a couple of months ago...

Well if you do, Breanna is that Starbucks Drive-thru bride ;) She contacted me shortly after that encounter to book her day and it was great getting to catch up with her and meet the man she has chosen to spend the rest of her life with. I could see right from the start that they are a perfect fit for eachother. There is so much laughter and sillyness in their relationship and I know their lives will blend together so effortlessly. And can I just say that I LOVE shooting friends weddings, there really is nothing else in the world like it. (Note to all of my friends who plan on "giving me the day off" for their wedding: I enjoy work days SO much more than days off, MAKE ME WORK!!!!). Big thanks to my second shooter Daniel, with his super spider power, for helping out! Congratulations Breanna and Matt!

Here are some bits and pieces from the day....

The beautiful bride getting the finishing touches put on her hair.

And getting into her dress...

Breanna and Matt opted for a First Look, which was definitely the best choice for their timeline and made the day flow a million times smoother. Daniel and I chose a secluded spot with some great lighting for the bride and groom to see eachother for the first time. Here is Matt waiting, as Breanna comes around the bend(see her?) :)

And his reaction as he turned around to see his bride approaching him...

And then.....(Que the AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW's) :)

Are they precious or what?

We then moved into the vineyard for some more shots....

Breanna's aunt walking her down the aisle.

Saying their vows.

They danced their first dance to last bit of sunlight, as the night set in :)

And the groomsmen waved candles in celebration...

Stealing kisses during dinner ;)