Archive for the ‘Intimate Couture’ Category

Like everyone else that owns a small business the economy’s shaky stature made me wince and I was concerned about the ability for my little company to stay afloat in a sea of financial chaos and uncertainty. Everyone else was sharing the same fears and apprehensions and there were numerous studies showing that couples we postponing their weddings or at the least scaling back on what they were spending… that was good enough bait for most professionals to start discounting if not abandoning their pricing structure for something that would be more affordable and appealing for their clientele, especially in our industry where we are already fighting against the shoot and burn photographers that in undercharging are teaching potential brides that is all their family heirloom is worth, and the quality of that first heirloom is diminished because of it.
For me personally there was an added element of panic this year because Michael was called to deploy and because of such took leave from his duty here to spend time with his family. We had enough money in savings to cover our expenses for a month or two until he left for afghanistan, and at the moment time together with the kids was the most important thing to us. So when the military changed their minds {that NEVER happens} and postponed his date, I went from having to only financially support my studio and craft, and enjoying the benefit of having extra spending cash to being the sole source of income for my studio and my family. Panic was a bit of an understatement.
So when we got a call from a friend about wedding photography there was more pressure than usual to book it, because we needed the money. Now. So we offered a discount for the day, and then when they hesitated on the price we continued to negotiate for several days, not only fueled by financial pressures but because they were friends, and at one point we realized that we had nearly discounted to half our usual rates…but was $3000 now worth the possibility of $5500 later? At that exact moment it seemed like it was with our mortgage payments looming in the near future for both the studio and our home.
When I start feeling overwhelmed or conflicted I read over notes I have taken from other mentors and the wisdom they have shared, in seminars, in books, in lectures and tutorials. I came across one by Skip Cohen, where he said “Just because they say it’s going to be a bad year for the economy doesnt mean it has to be.”
I let the wedding go, as much as I wanted to photograph it because I loved the couple, and because we needed the income right then.
We booked 2 other weddings that month that gave us a little breathing room, then we got another call from a sister of a friend of ours that came in, their wedding was the same date as the one I had passed up, so I was grateful that we would at least rebook the date, and feel that I made the right decision in letting it go. Not only did they book. They booked an $8000 package. When a few weeks before I had been considering doing a $5500 package worth of work, and outputting all the overhead for it with $2000 less of income. Really had I accepted I would have lost a substantial amount of income, and a wedding that I am super excited about shooting because the couple is absolutely adorable, and fun, and has some really wonderful things planned for their wedding that I am going to love sharing stories about with 2012 brides.
Fear is crippling your success. For some of us it’s lowering prices because we are afraid of the competition undercutting us on price, or we’re afraid of the economy making us another small business casualty in the wake of the financial insecurity. Some of us it’s fear that if we leave the security of day jobs we’ll fail, fail at our passion, fail at providing for our families, fail at being successful in pursuing our wildest dreams and being everything we dared to when we were 5. Fear that if we accomplish everything we are hoping to that the sacrifices will be too great, or we will find ourselves still feeling unfulfilled…

When you are ready to let go of your fears, what you can accomplish is limitless, in my humble opinion coupling that with compassion would be an amazing energy with boundless possibilities to change your destiny and impact the world.


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I have been in my studio for the better part of 8 months, the first 2 were spend with repairs and renovations.  For those who don’t know, my studio was actually my first home I bought, on my daughter’s first birthday, when we moved we rented it out, and when I walked in, even in it’s depressed state I felt a warm sense of homecoming to be back to it.  The renters abandoned the property, leaving nearly everything in it, including the food.  There were broken windows, holes in the wall, the floors had to be replaced, every room repainted, and I was extremely blessed to have such good friends like Martha, Rachelle, Adam, Nicholas, Chandra, and Jordan come by and lend a hand in the transformation.  Michael was amazingly dedicated, as he always has been throughout this journey; working long days and then coming and working in the studio till sometimes 1-2 am.  Where would I be without him?

When we had looked at the house to make a home the staircase was the original allure, I loved the rustic warm color of the wood.  It amazes me how long I was in there shooting and never considered how the color and geometrical angles along with the natural patterns of the wood would create amazing imagery; now I cant seem to get enough of it.  The contrast of feminine curves against the angular lines of the banisters are very alluring for me.

There is a metaphoric intricacy to my fondness for the staircase as well.  For me I have found in the last few years that failure is an illusion, a temporary circumstance at best.  Most of my greatest achievements have been built on the ruins of my past perceived failures, and really they were simply the steps it took to reach the final goal…  Life for me is very much an intricate staircase, and I feel as though at this point I have reached not the summit, but the landing at least, a turning point towards the next destination…

That’s me waxing poetic momentarily, really it’s just a beautiful girl with incredible curves draped over a 100 year old staircase…

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No lengthy musings today, went to the wonderful world of Mr. Scott Church today, hung out with some beautiful fun girls, took some beautiful fun photos, Sara rocks my world, and happy birthday Robin!
Got to bring along my sister in law for the festivities and got a free ticket to play a bit in the studio so here is one of her today, she’s a natural.
The studio is coming along, we’re putting in the wiring and outlets tonight and scrubbing down the walls, we’re getting to the fun part now, no time to type have to get cracking so I can slow down my growing list of clients waiting to shoot.

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Sometimes I have to laugh at us as a species, almost everyone of us thinks so many others have it all together, while we are just trying to keep our heads above water. The longer I live the more I find it to be true that the people that “have it all” is not because they are fortunate, or things just click for them, or they were lucky enough to find the right person, or be in the right place at the right time with the right people… it’s because they work really really hard for it. It’s because when they have times where the odds are stacked against and everything is crumbling and people are being cruel and ignorant towards them, even the people that are supposed to love them; they didnt quit. Not that they didn’t come close or were at the door with it open, one foot out, or even stepped through it entirely, letting it slam behind them… but they returned, picked up the pieces and continued to fight until it became what they knew it could be when they first embarked on the adventure.
I think marriage especially is a difficult journey, not for the meek. Those of us that are or have been married having the luxury now of saying, if I knew then what I know now, would be less inclined to blindly agree for better or worse with no limitations or exceptions on the worse. What about affairs, addictions, adultry? Are we really signing on for that? What if we were too young, silly impulsive? What if we just simply change our minds, meet our soulmate? Want to take a path our spouse is unwilling to follow us on? How do we perservere?
Simply: you make the choice. You can offer explanations or excuses but in the end, justified or not you simply made a choice to stay or to go. I am not saying there are never circumstances that warrant us leaving; to the contrary I have known many relationships that were unhealthy to the point one or both souls within it were withering in its existence, desperate for love, and attention, and some common ground to stand upon together. Adversely I have also known many that simply leave from boredom, or to make the other chase after them, only to crawl back if that person does not pursue.
Marriage is by far the most challenging thing I have done, and it is in some manner comforting to see others I know that are strong and share love as strong that at times falter in their steps towards forever. One thing I will defend is my belief that no matter what you can have apart you can always have more and often achieve it easier together. Obviously when you become adversaries this is not the case, but I doubt any person can say when we shared love and happiness and were in pursuit of the same goals, I still could have achieved them faster and easier on my own. A home, a family, a career, a life. Stop and remove your significant other and all that comes with them from that. Their financial contributions, or even their credit score, in home nannying every day you go to work that leaves you peace of mind your children are safe, not to mention saves you close to or over $1000 a month in childcare expenses. Splitting birthdays and holidays and missing memories of your children, trying to date as a single parent and having those dates ruined by the baby waking up or the sitter calling with a problem. Having only half as many resources at your disposal for every single thing you try to do, the emotional and financial strain of proceeding through a divorce. As a child of a broken home I have seen what that does not only to your children, but relatives, friends and loved ones, always having to tiptoe through conversations, pick and choose who holds the right to attend what events and dealing with the tension and uncomfortable situation of having you both at important events…
So it is warming to me to see that sometimes people who are at the brink of losing or throwing away everything, have committed destructive harm to themselves, each other and their marriage, and destroyed faith and trust in one another, can still get off their knees, swallow their pride and make that next step a step towards eachother instead of the often easier steps away from each other…
…often times we are creatures of habit, and second chances don’t matter because people make the same choices in the same circumstances… but that doesnt mean that with enough love and everything at stake, some people wont prove themselves stronger than either they or their spouse thought them to be and change… and often that point that was assuredly the end transcends into a beginning of something better than it ever could have been had they not undergone that tribulation… I am blessed that my marriage is made of the strong, and am full of hope that those I love will find similar strength in themselves and each other

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Why is it we spend so much time embraced in this tangled dance of emotional chaos with souls we are attracted towards because they burn so brightly in our darknesses that for their light we disregard our own skin turning to charred embers in its heat? It’s so easily obvious to the unaffected view that those we choose are often not right for us, and yet we are oblivious to it often times until we have suffered tremendous heartache and sorrow at the hands of those who are merciless with our fragile emotions. It’s a dance of contradictions with no choreography and we stumble on eachother’s hearts carelessly in the process, desparately trying to find our way, and someone to walk it with. So often we see ourselves tripping over our partner’s feet, and yearn for another who seems so easily graceful in the dance of love, only to find if given the chance we would be equally clumsy in their arms, and perhaps add to the despondency a bit of insecurity as we feel inadaquate in our own attempts to follow their lead.
So often I have found myself wondering if perhaps we can not remain in one relationship in our lives, because our lives constantly shape and mold who we were into who we are, and so often we repeat to ourselves the cliche: “if I knew then what I know now” I think perhaps the only way to remain steadfast with another and weather this life is to close your eyes to anyone else and what you presume to be their happiness so easily obtained, and equally adjust your focus from what you feel you have lost or never had, and instead know and remind yourself consistantly of how many blessings you are given in a day…
My life has been the most stressful and trying time I have experienced, and yet I find myself able to say that I am truly happy, not inspite of the obstacles, but because I know that surmounting them will be a worthy excursion for the joys they will bring… the burdens I carry are the responsibilities of the blessings I have prayed for my whole life, I could not ask for more when so many have less. Still I would be dishonest if I said never a quiet moment found me with thoughts of abandoning these responsibilities for a fresh passion, I am by nature a passionate person, but I have learned to let that side of me remain embers instead of raging flames… those with passion never find peace.

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