Apr
29
2015

{PLEASE HELP} FOR NEPAL WITH LOVE…

i’m usually the positive one. the one that is like “go team!”.  the one that cheers everyone on and rallies.  i absolutely love being able to support what wedding photographers do because i do love their work and their ability to capture the most beautiful and touching moments of one of the most important days of people’s lives.

but i also like being the transparent one.  i like to be real. and that might make me sound needy and insincere if i do it too much, because trust me, there are definitely some people are do talk so much what they’ve been through on social media, i cringe too as it just comes off as preachy and self centered.

but here i am today with a plea for help.

many of you are sitting right now reading this from your phone, laptop, tablet or what have you in your studio, office, restaurant, coffee shop or bed.  with a coffee in hand, eating your kale salad, or grilling your steak or what have you.   and because this blog caters to wedding photographers, i am going to call you out specifically.  some of you are getting inquiries and bookings maybe this minute, or this week or the next month that i bet you are in the ranges of $1,000 to $9,000.  i have posted this plea in every one of my social media feeds and Lucia and I have strive really hard to think of who else to reach out to.  and while i am happy that many of you are sharing these posts about what we’re doing.  the donation amount has remained pretty stagnant.  and i get it.  i totally and utterly get it.  i am not rich by any means and i like having money to be able to support my lifestyle.  in fact, sometimes i am a downright worry wart and hide in my apartment refusing to hang out with people because it means spending money which i am terrified i might not have next week if i lose my job.  no one can guarantee job security whether you’re in corporate America or self-employed.  so trust me when i say, i know.  but for pete’s sake, give up that cup of coffee or that kale salad and just donate $5 or $10.

it makes a difference.

i saw it happen when we did For Japan With Love.  that $72,000 plus didn’t come from people donating chunks of money like $50 or $100 or thousands.  it came from over 1,400 individuals that were donating $5, $10, or $25.  yeup, that’s right.  all of us coming together in small ways to help for a larger cause.  people in need and oh how they needed our help and support.  we are in a position to give it to them, so please just reexamine your priorities for the next two weeks and help us raise funds to help Nepal.

the media here isn’t really covering it because apparently riots, violence, celebrities and their lifestyles are far more important issues to cover.  a natural disaster in a third world country apparently is not as of a concern.  but here’s how i see it,  not all of us were Haitian or Japanese or Filipino when those major disastrous natural disasters happened.  the bottom line is we are humans.  we are all human beings.  and as human beings, we have the undeniable power to be compassionate, to be in a position to help one another, to have empathy. 

SO PLEASE HELP.

the death toll has now surpassed 4,800.  over 9,200 are injured.  over EIGHT MILLION people have been affected.

it wasn’t just an earthquake.  it wasn’t just a 7.8 earthquake.  it was also an avalanche that took lives and injured and stranded others.  many of whom are still missing.  it was also an earthquake that caused a 6.7 aftershock.  it was also an earthquake that caused landslides that resulted in 200 more people missing. 

so please, instead of spending 5 minutes scrolling through your instagram or facebook or what have you. please take a moment to put yourself in their shoes and what would you hope someone would do for you?  then do it.  donating takes less than five minutes.  and that $5 or $25 or $100, no matter what the amount, i promise you’re going to help a life.  and i guarantee that it’s a feeling that will make you feel 100% full.   please head over HERE to donate and please help spread the word and keep Nepal and surrounding areas in your prayers and thoughts.

click image below to go directly to donate.

if you are a photographer that wants to help in other ways, please email me.  i would be ever so grateful.

for more information too, please head to FOR NEPAL WITH LOVE.

thank you for listening.

take care.

Apr
21
2015

{ANNOUNCEMENT} LA FEMME FORTE…

 so i know boudoir is a touchy one.  (pun intended.)

but…

when one of your friends, dearest darlingest friends, has a vision that you 100% support.  you get behind it.  you start talking about it.  you start living it and you start breathing it.  when TWO of your dearest darlingest friends band together to further empower that movement, you just pinch yourself and count yourself so damn lucky that you are surrounded by these women who constantly push themselves to make themselves better and inspire so many others to get up each day and take steps to be their better selves.

i am super excited to help announce this.

and so very much applaud by beautifully talented friends, TONHYA WYSONG who is partnering with GOFITJO, for doing this. and i could not be more proud of their hearts to start this movement and take it on the road.

it will be much more than boudoir.  i hope you know that.  it’s to celebrate you.

 

peak your interest?  well go HERE and email lafemmeforte@tonhyakae.com to learn more.  you’ll find that you’ll be in damn good hands.

Feb
09
2015

{ANNOUNCEMENT} THE DEFINE SCHOOL WEDDING TRACK…

it’s pretty easy to get behind something that your friends are torchbearers for, especially when it’s something you also truly value and believe in as well.

even more so when they’re constantly upping their game and challenging the community to do so as well.

i’m super excited to help announce…

THE DEFINE SCHOOL  launched their Wedding Track!

if you aren’t familiar with The Define School, it’s an online photography school that offers classes and e-courses to learn more about photography and photography skills all at the convenience in their own home and own time schedule.

this is isn’t just for someone looking to get their start in the wedding photography world, but someone who feels they might be in a rut.  or more importantly, who just has the hunger to keep learning.  stoked that The Define School has created a curriculum that specifically highlights important lessons and key steps for wedding photographers from some of the best talent out there.  these guys have gone through it all themselves and sometimes, still going through the turns and tumbles, so you know everything they teach has value and you most definitely will grow from it.  everything is all clearly set out for you each week.  every teacher is accessible as well as everyone else in your class.  i think what is also great about Define is the fact that it creates pockets of community after each class and it’s a place to kick start or kick into gear someone’s career.

registration for these classes start Monday, 02/08!  so you better hurry up and sign up as classes with Define always tend to sell out.

the line up and start dates for classes are as follows:

the essentials of wedding photography- lighting, equipment, technique, posing, candids and more taught by the ridiculously talented TYLER BRANCH with POSING AND SHOOTING.

 

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strategies and resources to make sure you are filling your calendar with couples galore with CANDICE BROOKE in BOOKING OUT YOUR YEAR.

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while you have to love the art and have the passion for wedding photography, one major factor to keep you going are the clients. CLIENT INTERACTION with BEN & REBEKAH HOOD will help establish those relationships that are key to your happiness for your work and business.

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please note that the following two aren’t open up for registration til Monday, April 6th, but i wanted to give you a heads up so you can plan accordingly!

WE ARE THE PARSONS are pretty well known in this community for consistently capturing the most heartfelt stories with their couples. STORYTELLING will give the chance and extra step to learn how to dig deeper to shoot your couples on a more emotional level.

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the powerhouse team, BRAD & JEN BUTCHER, have mastered the process of turning raw images to absolute stunners.  having VSCO around definitely is key, but there are some nuances here and there that these two will teach in EDITING AND WORKFLOW that you won’t want to miss.  details on this one are still being set so stay tuned!

so let’s kick 2015 into high gear, what do you say?!

let me reiterate to you that this isn’t just for beginners.  it’s always important to keep educating yourselves to always up your game, stay relevant, be motivated and inspired!  so check it out for yourselves.  for more information and details, please head over to the WEDDING TRACK CURRICULUM.  you can also learn more about other classes and stay updated with THE DEFINE SCHOOL classes too on THEIR BLOG.

and nope, this isn’t a sponsored post.  i just believe in these guys and love them a lot.

Jan
10
2015

{BEST OF 2014} FINALE…

oh you very well know that i wouldn’t end this without some confetti right?

this above is by far my favorite confetti capture ever.  many thanks to BABB PHOTO for this one.

and so there it all is.  the “Best of 2014″.

i know it was a massive collection and might have been overwhelming to get through it all.  some say that perhaps the specialness of being included might have gone away since there were so many.  but that wasn’t the true goal of showcasing this collection.  i wanted to make sure to include all the wedding photographers that sent something in because i have appreciated the support and encouragement they give to this blog for the past year.  this is my way of thanking you all AND celebrating you all for being part of the blog in 2014.  i tried my hardest to make sure to select images where you could all see how truly talented wedding photographers can be.  i hope i did it justice.

i want people to know as many wedding photographers out there as possible, to see all the talent there is, to see all their peers and how hard you all are working.  and most importantly, i want all wedding photographers in this community to be proud of what all your peers have been up to this year.  i want people to remember not to view as competition, but to view it as motivation for their 2015.  i want people to realize that while yes, it’s important to keep going, don’t compare yourself to what others have been doing,  don’t be jealous of the epic backdrops or destinations, but pick yourself up and get out there.  don’t let the competition take away from doing what you love.   backdrops, venues, and details aren’t what make the best wedding photography.  it’s what story you are able to tell from the wedding day or between the couple that is what is most important.  realize that this wedding photography community is here for you and with you.  encourage each other.  throw confetti at each other. let’s make 2015 better for each other.

this is the essence of this blog. while the primary focus is show off wedding photography, it’s also been making sure you all realize you are all in this together.  i love being part of the wedding photography community, even if i am not a wedding photographer.  this past year, i’ve truly enjoyed becoming closer friends with so many of you all.  all the tears, frustrations, belly laughs and confetti throws.  and it’s been absolutely astonishing to see the growth of individual photographers and most definitely fun discovering more talent.  i have had this blog for five years, it’s been purely a labor of love.  each year, i am even more thankful for the growth it has.  however, this year, instead of trying to fight the never ending battle of getting brides and grooms to understand the importance of having a solid gold wedding photographer, i have decided to build upon this wedding photography community instead.  i’ll be gearing this blog in a slightly different direction this year while still showcasing the best wedding photographers out there.  i’m out here in hopes to make this wedding photographer community even better.  i hope you all stay tuned for it and get others to come on board too.  let’s do this, 2015.

and on that note, again…thank YOU to all the wedding photographers that have sent in a feature this past year and to all the ones who are still sending in submissions.  i thank all of you for the patience while waiting to hear back from me.  it’s a one woman show behind here and i truly appreciate those who wait for months for their feature to go up.  i truly appreciate how much you all support this blog and i feel so lucky that you find this blog worthy of your work.  so thank you so very much.

lastly, thank YOU to all the wedding photographers that sent images in for the “Best Of 2014″.  my heart was bursting at the seams with how many of you sent something in and it’s truly with pride that i shared all of these this week.  thank you, thank you, thank you.  what an incredible 2014 you all had and i can’t wait to see your 2015.

and obviously, i can’t end on that note without some confetti right?!  my favorite confetti (or confetti like) images that were sent in below.

ADRIENNE GUNDE

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ARIANE MOSHAYEDI

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BRITTNI WILLIE

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JENNY JIMENEZ

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LEV KUPERMAN

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REDFIELD PHOTOGRAPHY

AGAIN, THANK YOU TO ALL!

thank you so much for visiting this blog for not only the “Best Of 2014″ to check out these amazing wedding photographers and to cheer them on, but for coming every day to see what other beautiful work is out there.  here’s to a year of some crazy beautiful scenic venues and flawless lighting and shadows.  and here’s to an upcoming year full of the best of the best wedding storytelling there is.

goodbye 2014.  here’s to 2015.

let’s do this.

*throws confetti*

Jan
04
2015

{BEST OF 2014} PROLOGUE…

and so here it is again, the “Best Of” for 2014.

around mid-november of every year, i ask wedding photographers to send in 3-5 of their favorite images from the year.  last year, i received submissions from about 77 wedding photographers.  this year, the goal was to receive around 80 again.  instead, i ended up with 112 wedding photographers submitting!!

every year, it gets harder and harder to select the best images.  the wedding photography bar is raised higher and higher.  every year, i make a promise to include each wedding photographer at least once for the collection.  i must say that during the whole selection process, there is a lot of sound coming from my desk with the frustration of picking images.  there are also a lot of moments where i feel like my eyeballs are about to fall out.  i don’t know how you photogs cull weddings, day in and out.  you guys are all just amazing.

so before i start showcasing the collection, i just wanted to walk you all through how i went about picking the images.

while this year brought a lot of wedding photographers to pushing the limits with breathtaking backdrops like the one below from WYN WILEY,

i also wanted to make sure that many intimate moments that capture the essence of what a marriage is all about were included too, like the one from YARO PHOTO below.

and then more importantly, the best wedding photography storytelling.  i kept my eye out for the wedding photographers who sent in images that caught the cute, funny, whimsical moments from the day, but also moments that normally one wouldn’t think of capturing or a moment that is always captured but from a unique angle, like the one below from SCOTTY PERRY.  i am absolutely in love with the stillness and lighting of the gown.  captures the essence of the calm before the excitement of the wedding day.

so come back tomorrow, kick back and enjoy “Best of 2014″.

be in awe of the talent of these wedding photographers.

if you’re a wedding photographer yourself, get yourself motivated for your 2015.  and more importantly, cheer on your peers.  this is a community you should be proud to be a part of.  i am so thankful to be a part of it as a wedding photography blogger and feeling honored that so many of you submitted.

i am so proud to present to you this year’s “Best Of”.

*throws confetti*

Oct
24
2014

{CONFETTI THROW FRIDAYS} SNAP PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL…

you know this blog has always been about the community and how essential it is to have the support and encouragement of others.  without community, it’s can get hard being out there on your own.  this industry has a pretty solid one and for that, i’m really thankful.  this blog could not run without the love and support from others.  i have absolutely loved this journey of creating such personal friendships and relationships with the wedding photographers who have submitted their work to this blog.  and i’ve absolutely enjoyed learning from them and seeing them learn from each other and cheer each other on.

so i am thrilled and very excited to help announce

a world class line up is announced as part of SNAP, the UK’s first ever photography
festival aimed at wedding and lifestyle photographers.
SNAP showcases the first ever festival of this kind in
the UK. held at the beautiful Fforest resort, in West Wales. the festival will run to the same
format as a music festival, but is designed as an immersive learning and creative development
experience for more than 100 photographers from all over the world.
some of the world’s most inspiring wedding photographers will be teaching alongside the UK’s
finest home grown talent, as well as photographers outside of the wedding genre.

“i attended Photo Field Trip in the US earlier this year and found it hugely inspiring” says Laura
Babb, SNAP Photography Festival’s founder. “it was as far away from a corporate conference as
you can get, with all of the teachers hanging out with the attendees, camp fires, parties and a
completely unique, shared experience. i knew i had to bring something similar to the UK.  as well
as all of the amazing workshops and activities we’re planning, we’ll be having an epic closing
party where campers can let off some steam before the start of the new wedding season”.

to celebrate the launch of the website SNAP Photography Festival has a number of offers and
incentives available.

the first is an early bird discount combined with a donation to charity on behalf of the ticket
purchaser: http://www.snapphotofestival.com/blog/2014/10/19/the-early-bird-catches-the-worm

they also have 6 opportunities to attend the festival on a free or discounted basis: http://www.snapphotofestival.com/blog/2014/10/15/snap-needs-you

we are keen to hear from organisations who may wish to partner with us.  a range of sponsorship
opportunities are available so please get in touch for a media pack.

here’s some work from some of the speakers as this week’s confetti throw fridays.  the line up is spectacular so please go check this AMAZING festival now.

INDIA HOBSON

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ANDY GAINES

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ANDRIA LINDQUIST

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KARL GRUPE

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SAM HURD

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PAULA O’HARA

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MARIANNE TAYLOR

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EMMA CASE & PETER SMYTH

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DYLAN AND SARA

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CONOR MACNEILL

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ALAN LAW

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ROSS HARVEY

to find out more, head on over to  SNAP PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVALS’ SITE or THEIR FACEBOOK.

have a great weekend all!

*THROWS CONFETTI*

Mar
11
2014

{FOR JAPAN WITH LOVE} THREE YEARS LATER…

three years later. this day still gets to me.

the feelings i felt and the overwhelming sadness balanced with the overwhelming of happiness of what we did together for Japan after will never ever leave me.  to this day, i will still excitedly talk about what we accomplished altogether.  and i’m still in disbelief at times at how in two and a half weeks we surpassed any of our expectations.

you kind of never forget natural disasters of this magnitude where the damage is eternal and physically scarring not just  for the people, but for the land and the culture forever.  we’ve all seen the images and the video footage before.  but the horrifying feeling of seeing that 30 foot wave knock entire ships into shore and in a matter of few seconds, pull thousands of lives into the massive ocean.  it just never leaves you.

i am thankful for community as i spoke about in this post.  thankful to have friends like Lucia and Henny from Utterly Engaged who immediately jumped to action with me and started For Japan With Love.  despite the melancholy of the event, i still have to giggle at how doubtful we were to raise $5,500.  in fact, we were so doubtful, we almost made our initial goal $3,500.

every year, i will write these number out again and again. it’s the only way to emphasize that every little helps.  but in just two and a half weeks, we raised $66,733 from 1407 individual donations and we had 1200+ bloggers involved with the blogger day of silence.  we owe it to the power of social media but more importantly, the power of community.  we would never have been able to pull it off without your help.  this further triggered a SF benefit a month later and with the help of Floral TheoryBlu BungalowLovely Little Details and Bustle Events, our end total for For Japan With Love, was approximately $74,000.

one of the reasons that also helped this community raise that amount was having a great organization to donate to and believe in.  we picked ShelterBox because of what they do.  each ShelterBox contains the daily living essentials from utensils to blankets and pillows to coloring books for kids to a tent that houses about 10 people or an entire family.  each box is about $1,000 and so by raising $74,000, we were able to help 74 families or about 740 people.

takes your breath away doesn’t it?

however, at the end of the day, this post isn’t meant for gloating.  it’s to showcase just how beautiful human beings can be.  that a horrifying tragedy like the Japan earthquake and tsunami can bring so much kindness and compassion.

my heart still aches for the losses that day and the days after.  i will always remember this day and think of all those affected closely to my heart.  and i will always be ever so thankful for everyone that donated and helped spread the word.  there will never be any words close to describing how i felt or still feel about For Japan With Love.

take a moment today and join me to remember those lives lost and those affected by the earthquake and tsunami.

in remembrance. 3.11.11.