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 Theory, Blu Bungalow, Lovely 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.
“This is one of our most favorite engagement sessions ever! Kelsey and Joel are such an adventurous couple and Sunset Cliffs in San Diego was the perfect backdrop to shoot their engagement photos at. We love the way Kelsey and Joel interacted, they are both so loving and joyful, and they were so up for doing anything. Together we hiked around the cliffs, repelled down to the ocean, and even got in the water for some surf… and they had so much fun doing it!
Here are a few words from Kelsey’s (the bride to be) perspective:
We fell in love in the ocean… literally. Joel and I both surf and after we met, we decided that going on surf dates was WAY more fun than fancy, sit down dinners with the usual “get to know you questions”. We would suit up, paddle out and get to know each other in between catching waves. You learn a lot about a person when you see them doing something they love to do.
Sunset Cliffs has a special place in our heart. Joel took me there for the first time and the only way to get into the water was to jump off a rock into the ocean, based on the timing of the waves. I scared to say the least, but he was calm and encouraging the whole time. It ended up being a fun new adventure! Since then, it’s been our favorite spot to spend time together, enjoy God’s creation and catch some waves.”
it’s always just so brilliant when engagement sessions are and capture what the couple loves doing best together. it can be as simple as just spending the day doing ordinary things or adventurous things like the above.
super excited to share the work of
on the blog.
check out more of Yes Dear Studios’ work on THEIR BLOG. there’s some damn good stuff over there so go!
let me start off by saying that my blog is nothing without the work of many talented people, more specifically the work of photographers. that’s not without saying that the work of wedding planners, stylists, florists, invitation designers, and more aren’t important. but let’s face it, without the photographer, who’s going to capture those details and above all, the moments that not only the couple will want to treasure but also, the vendor who wants to be proud of the work they’ve done. this blog has and will always support the work of wedding photographers first and foremost. everyone else loves the details and that’s totally fine. it’s just not my jam. i firmly believe in their work and their talent and will always genuinely support them in any way i can. i take great pride in the fact that their work is on my blog and even greater pride when i see them on a bigger name blog or a magazine, making it rain somewhere somehow, etc. i am always humbled and thankful that they send their submissions to me and they value my blog enough to want to be featured on here. there are many a times when i squeal in joy and can’t wait to feature their work. i take great pleasure when i see readers clicking through to the links of featured photographers. i’ll be honest and tell you my blog will never guarantee inquiries or bookings, so the smallest action of clicking through to photographers’ portfolios or blogs is a great joy to me.
nevertheless, the BEST part of my blogging for the past four plus years has been the genuine friendships i’ve created through this blog. i am always so happy to say that more than a solid handful of wedding photographers who have been featured on this blog are my real life friends as in we hang out outside of the blog and don’t just industry talk but life talk, learn from and help each other out. many of them have truly been there for me, especially the past few years. For Japan With Love (where we raised $64,000 in 2.5 weeks) and For Philippines with Love (where we raised $19,052) are living proof of what happens when we support and help each other out. both happened because we all came together as unified individuals for one simple cause and belief- to help others in need. and on a more personal level, when my life came to a serious halt last summer when i lost a family member suddenly. a lot of these wedding photographers and other wedding industry folks were there for me through phone calls, text messages, cards, emails, etc. i don’t think they’ll ever know how grateful i am for their words of encouragement and support. it just goes to show how important a community is. without one, i know i can’t function both on a professional and personal level.
this past weekend, i got to go to Photo Field Trip (brainchild of Jess Cudzilo of The Define School, Whitney Chamberlin of Our Labor of Love, and Justin Lyon). the ultimate goal was to provide an intimate setting where photographers could just jive and learn from each other. and even though i am not a wedding photographer, i was just bloody excited to go support friends that were teachers and/or panelists and just to savor being among so many creatives. another perk would be meeting some of the photographers. who have been on here for the first time, in real life. (and let’s not forget another excuse to throw confetti.) that was what was important to me and to just be around the community that i genuinely supported and was proud to be a part of. there was a bit of an uproar when an initial class schedule went out and people were frustrated that some classes weren’t offered. i was slightly disappointed with the reaction, granted that in my mind and the organizers’ minds, they just wanted to provide a place where we could all be at the same time. Jess, Whitney and Justin worked hard and catered to everyone’s needs. they did a mighty fine job of it and everyone calmed down.
then came the actual weekend. i was just so happy to get to see all my friends in one place at one time. it was so needed for me on an emotional level. this was the first time many had seen me since Mikey passed away and essentially the first time, they got to physically hug me. an added perk was meeting photographers in real life for the first time. it rained the entire time, but that didn’t stop many of us from attending classes, talking to others and getting to know each other, and more importantly, to dance with each other. i was super proud to hear friends speak their hearts and put them out on their sleeves. even more excited to hear all the great feedback about my friends speaking. by the end of the weekend, everyone felt fulfilled and hearts exploded. oddly enough, a lot of them had skipped classes because they just wanted more one on one time with each other and could not do that in a class setting. people far more enjoyed the downtime, the spontaneous campfire gatherings and bike rides to the beach.
i hope if anything came out of this weekend that attendees learned the importance of community. we can’t work without each other. and we work best if we all come together and essentially just being around each other is key. sacrifices and compromises will always have to be made. but at the end of the day, it works out because birds of a feather flock together.
and so to my friends, old and new, i’m so glad i got to hang out with you all and just be with you guys the entire weekend. i miss you all so much already.
a lot of confetti was thrown. a lot. i even pranced around in a tutu. AND threw confetti. those that were there will be finding confetti in their hair, clothes, suitcases, and underwear for days…even months. they also bore witness to me being at my happiest and that’s when i get the chance to throw confetti. for reals. but yeah, thank you to all for such a great weekend and putting up with my confetti craziness. i hope you’re prepared for it next year.
if you know, you know. and if you don’t, well it means “Throw Confetti Or Get The Fuck Out”. and it’s my life motto and i like yelling it when i’m extremely happy or extremely mad. so deal.
sidenote, you could also say it means “Think Community Or Get The Fuck Out”. hey hey hey. see what i did there?
ok no but really guys. community. let’s try to live it and breathe it more.
got a little something special today.
starting off with this couple’s adorable proposal….
and then a few weeks, they got their opportunity to do their engagement session
major major thanks to
for sending over this sweet couple’s proposal and engagement session.
for more from their story, check it out HERE
and of course, you will want to see what else is up this talented photographer’s sleeve on HER BLOG.