Feb

2015 Editor's Choice Award

Chris and I are so blessed to have the most incredible wedding couples year after year. Their love stories are inspiring and their weddings are the most beautiful and memorable celebrations one could ever witness. They are one-of-a-kind once-in-a-lifetime kind of celebrations brought to life by incredible teams of vendors! 
 
So we always have such a great excitement and appreciation when their stories and weddings are featured in various publications and shared with the world!  
 
We are so honored to receive the 2015 Editors Choice Award for Two Bright Lights again this year! A huge thank you to all of the publications that have featured our work and our couples!

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Feb

Great In Every Way

Years from now he probably won't remember these little moments when he was a baby. He may not remember but I will remind him. Because I don't want him to forget how his great grandparents would come over a few times a week to read him books and sing songs. I want him to know that even before he was born, they loved him something fierce. That even as a little baby, in their eyes he could do no wrong and his crying and stinky diapers were just "adorable" according to them. I want Greyson to know that his great grandparents thought the world of him even then. And I especially don't want him to forget how they would just happen to wear coordinating outfits, like complimenting snowflake sweaters, but would pretend like they didn't even notice. :) 
 
Not a day goes by that I am not so incredibly grateful to have my Nana & Pop live so close to see Greyson as much as they do. It is an indescribably blessing to have had them be a part of his first 11.5 months of life! How is he already going to be a 1 year old soon?!?! #wheredidthetimego 




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Feb

5 Tips To Accomplishing Goals

It's that time of year when most of the goals we set for ourselves for the year have probably not been crossed off our To Do list and are still waiting to be achieved. And if they all have been achieved already, then you need to dream bigger scarier dreams! And it's right about now that I wish there was a perfectly crafted turn key way to guarantee getting things done and accomplish all that we have set out for ourselves. Wouldn't that be great? While there is no turn key, there are five main things that have really helped me in accomplishing goals and getting stuff done that I want to share with you! Let's jump right into them: 
 
Write them down. Chris has probably said the phrase to me, "you don't know where you're going if you don't know where you're going" literally a million times. And he is so right. It may seem like an obvious or simple thing to do, but clearly identifying your goals and what needs to be done is going to help you 1) know what you are working towards and 2) identify what you need to do to get there. And I don't just mean have your goals loosely floating around your head somewhere between your grocery list and the time of your dentist appointment. I mean pen to paper, clearly writing out specifically what your goals are. I often do a huge brain dump of all the things I want to get done (for the year, that month, for the day) and then prioritize them. 
 
Keep them visible. Now that you have them all written out, keep them out. Have your goals sitting on your desk or hanging from your mirror where you can constantly see them. This way you will see them each day and remind yourself what you are working towards. Writing them in a journal and then tucking that away until the end of the year to see if you (*fingers crossed*) hopefully can check off some of the goals that you (*fingers crossed*) remembered, isn't going to be helpful. Chris was the one that truly taught me the power of this very early on. And I will let you in on a little secret... Chris used to keep a little laminated (yes, laminated!) card with his goals in his wallet. So each time he took something out of his wallet, there were his goals demanding not to be forgotten and calling for action. Each time Chris would achieve a goal he would take a marker and cross it off on the card. True story. At first I honestly thought he was a complete (yet adorable :) ) dork for doing this, but let me tell you, Chris has achieved more of what he has set out to do for himself more then anyone I know! So write down your goals and keep them visible. 
 
Identify smaller steps. As great as it is to have a list of goals, I have found that they just stay a list of things that hoooopefully will happen UNLESS I identify what needs to be done for each to be accomplished. This means taking each goal and writing out the steps that need to take place in order for me to move forward in the direction of achieving them. Notice I didn't say what steps I need to take to achieve the goal. While in some cases it may be as cut and dry as simply doing XYZ and the goal will be achieved, a majority of goals don't have clear 1,2,3 steps. So I encourage you to write out ACTION steps that you believe will help you move forward toward your goal, even if it's just a little. Maybe a step is reaching out to a colleague or emailing a question to a vendor. Goals are often much less daunting when we identify smaller steps to take for each. And then the key to this tip is taking action and actually doing these steps you identified!  
 
Assign timing to them. Having "this year" be the timing for when you want to achieve your goal is often much less motivating and can lead us to put off taking action towards that goal. Simply put, it can encourage procrastination. In February we may feel like we have lots and lots of time to achieve that goal, but how many times has December rolled around and we realize we haven't done anything to work towards it. Having timing associated with goals and the steps to be taken helps us 1) prioritize what to do first, 2) allocate our resources and 3) adds a sense of urgency in achieving it. 
 
Have someone hold you accountable. This is a big one and something we can so easily forget as business owners. Many of us are so used to juggling everything with our business and doing it all ourselves, that we forget the importance of accountability. While Chris and I are in constant communication about the status of things, we sit down every other week together to go through our goals and share updates with one another around the business. It's a status meetings of sorts. Some of the projects Chris isn't involved with at all, but just vocalizing to him the progress or lack there of is helpful for me. I share with him some of the obstacles I am facing and he can encourage me and sometimes provide suggestions about what to do. I know not everyone works with someone else in their business, but even if you have a colleague or friend that can hear your goals and what you are working towards, it can be super powerful. If you can both help one another in getting that much closer to accomplishing what you set out to do that's even better! I know it may not be easy, but it's important to share your goals, dreams, and action plan with someone so they can encourage and hold you accountable. 
 
 
With all the snow on the ground right now, I am day dreaming about this sunny shoot in Santa Barbara CA... I think we need to plan a west coast visit again sooner then later! Adding that to my goals and making the timing ASAP! ;)

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Feb

One Of A Kind

Hidden between the Hot Dog song on Mickey Mouse's Clubhouse and the adorable Doc McStuffins helping fix broken toys, the Disney channel never ceases to come up with a song that forever gets stuck in my head allllll day long. I know I'm not the only one that randomly finds themselves humming, "hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog..." Greyson thinks these songs are the bees knees as he claps his hands and gives a mighty effort at singing along with them. But the truth of the matter is, there are some of life's most fundamental lessons baked in between the bright colors, shapes, and sounds. Truths that we learned long ago when we were kids, but somehow lost sight of now that we drink lattes, pay taxes, shovel our driveways and are the gown up adults we are!  
 
These silly but oh-so-entertaining cartoon characters teach kids that each one of them is unique and special... That in the entire world with all of the billions of people, there is no one exactly like them. NO ONE. We know that right? It seems like such a fundamental thing that we clearly already know as an adult. (*sip latte*) However, as basic of a truth as it is, we sometimes forget. Or, we sometimes don't believe it. It's almost like we can wrap our heads around that there is no one completely identical to us physically, but when it comes to what makes us "us" we completely shrug that truth off and forget we have something special to offer. We so often live our lives and run our businesses forgetting that we have this unique combination, competitive edge, that special thing or whatever you want to call it that no one else has. We have our unique selves. And no one can duplicate, replicate, or recreate it. I may or may not have just felt like Missy Elliot just then with some seriously rapping skills. But seriously. Can I get an amen?! Our funk, our flare, our quirks, our personality, our combination of experiences, the way we see the world, our character, our life. There is only our one unique combination. There is only one of each of us. 
 
People often ask us in our workshops and mentoring sessions how we can be confident when we know there are so many other photographers out there with such amazing work, more resources, better equipment, more this and better that. And the truth of the matter is, I haven't always been confident. When I was a new photographer I walked down the road of comparisons and only got further away from the "why" I was a photographer in the first place and left more of my confidence along the way. I looked at what others were doing and what they had to offer, comparing myself and feeling less then. But I decided then and there I was going to focus on and celebrate what I have that no one else does - ME. Because the only thing I can bring to the table that is different from everyone else is me. My experience, the way I see the world, my personality. My voice and the value I have. And let me point out this is very very different from being full of yourself, thinking you are better then other people and have a sense of entitlement. THAT is just a very narrow, sad and dark road to be on. It is being proud and confident in your beautiful uniqueness.  
 
Once you realize and truly embrace that there is only one you, everything changes. You can celebrate the accomplishments of your colleagues. You can take more risks, dream bigger dreams, and be authentic. You can be confident that the unique things you have will never go away. You have the freedom to embrace what makes you special because you are truly one of a kind.  
 
There is and only will be one you. You are special. You are enough. Believe it and don't forget it. Embrace and celebrate that. 
 
Now go brew yourself another cup of coffee, sit down on the couch, and thank Mickey Mouse for keepin' it real.

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Feb

Featured: New York Knot Magazine

Love stories are as unique and beautiful as snowflakes. There aren't two that have the exact same twists, turns and sparkle. And these beautiful elements are what make them amazing stories that should be told and celebrated. There has never been a love story just like it before, and will never be one just like it again.  
 
This is part of the reason why it is such an honor to have our couples' engagements and weddings featured in various publications. Now more people can hear about the beauty of their story. 
 
So you can only imagine my excitement when Kira sent me this photo of their proposal story featured in the newest issues of The Knot New York Magazine she spotted at a newsstand! I can't wait to get my hands on a copy! To read more about their story and see photos from their NYC Central Park engagement session, click here.

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