Sunday, January 27, 2008

Business Boot Camp | Atlanta, GA

While attending PartnerCon back in September, I had a crash course in Business Boot Camp, and it whet my appetite enough to want to attend the whole thing! Boy, am I thankful I did.
The BBC is an intense, intimate three-day experience designed to help you take your photography business to the next level, enforce business health and profitability, and create a better work/life balance.

As a creative, I find that the business end often suffers because it is not what I am necessarily gifted at... but after going through this course, I realized that the business aspect offers the opportunity to be just as creative... the medium is simply numbers instead of paint or film.
As odd as it may sound, I actually enjoyed mapping everything out on a spreadsheet and seeing how everything works together. Business is ridiculously creative, you just have to challenge yourself to look at it differently.

I walked away knowing....
- Exactly how much I need to make next year to pay myself "x" salary in conjunction with growing my business. (That includes ideals such as maxing out IRA annually, and putting a significant amount in savings each month.)
- The cost of sales on each package I offer and how to decrease my cost of sales without affecting my clients.
- step by step plans to financially achieve my business and personal, short and long term goals.
- more of who I am as a person. In order to tackle the financial and goal aspect of your business, you must start with its creator... you. We were even commissioned to write a eulogy for ourselves! Which, if you ever get a chance, please do, you will set a course for your life that will point it in the direction you wish to end up.

I would challenge every business to take a few days out of their busy schedule to lay a proper financial foundation. Just like in life, everything rises and falls according to its foundation.

Thanks Liana... you truly are doing a great service to each and every pupil you encounter!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Colorado | part III

My adventures have come to an end... I fly out of Denver tomorrow morning where I have a week to re-coup and gear up for the next big adventure. (that's an exciting one.. stay tuned for more on that later)

Anyway, we packed up the cabin this morning, grabbed lunch and homemade Hot Chocolate in the Vail village and headed back to Denver. I drove in the snow for the first time. yay for me!! We used to always go up to the mountains but I just never drove in it before, so I figured I needed my practice. It's kinda like 4Xing and since I've done that a lot before, I was fine :)
The roads cleared eventually but we were still surrounded by the most beautiful scenery. Did I mention I could live here?! ;)

Anyway, we got back to Denver and the fabulous Eric Laurits pulled some strings and got us tickets to see the world premiere/opening night of a stage play called Plainsong at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.
In College, I was the fine arts coordinator in charge of planning what plays, operas, symphonies (etc.) the students went to with their Fine Arts classes. Tonight took me back to those fun adventures.... one of my goals this year was to see more productions, so this was a start! :)


Eric went to grad school here in Denver so he worked his magic all the way from NY and not only got us tickets.... he got us VIP tickets. Needless to say, we felt special and he is amazing.

Thanks :e:!! HUGS from Crystal, Liana, me, & Sarah!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Beautiful Vail!

I just wanted to share a quick shot from our balcony this morning.

In a beautiful location like this, I shouldn't even have my computer open! BUT, while the other girls are hittin' the slopes, Liana and I are fighting this nasty sickness so we are confined to the cabin. I would love to be out enjoying the snow and not feeling like I just got ran over by a mack truck, but I guess thats what I get for running myself ragged for the last two weeks.

On a more happy note: MIKE HALL is my hero! Have you noticed my blog is fixed?! I asked so many different people for help and was getting no-where, but a quick email to Mike yesterday morning and everything was redesigned by last night. Talk about amazing service! We are still doing a few tweaks (like a flash header and such) so it will be even MORE fun. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to retrieve all the old images from the missing server guy, so over the next few weeks I will have to REpopulate what images are missing. (just hang tight!)
anyway... three cheers for Mike!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Colorado | part II

After our adventures in Denver yesterday, we headed up to Vail for the rest of the week :)
7 photographers....Jasmine Star, Liana, Amy Nave, Sarah Barlow, Crystal Goss, Jenna Walker and I am relaxing up here for a little friend time :)

Traipsing around Colorado has been awesome! I LOVE it. I could TOTALLY live here if it wasnt landlocked! This place is so my style.
Here are a few things I have noticed...
1. This should be the state flag of Colorado....
they are EVERYWHERE!
2. Health nuts make up the core of the population! vegan, organic, yummy healthy goodness. needless to say I have been enjoying it
3. Jenna says the guys out number the girls 10 to 1... haha... I am noticing that. ;) Um, and are they all rugged and handsome or have I just been in the right place at the right time?
4. Um, I get out of breath walking up a flight of stairs... silly altitude!

here are a few shots from our little trip into the village today :)
I love these girls!!

Colorado | part I

Monday evening we rolled into Denver to meet up with 5 other amazing ladies.
It was really awesome when 7 of us show up to our rented condo and the address was '777'. kinda funny coinky-dink, 'eh?
After an evening of thai food, catching up on each others lives, and geeking out, we got up at dawn the next morning to start our adventure.
We headed down to LoDo to meet up with Jim White from Volunteers of America and split up to go document different projects that the VOA runs, so they have marketing/promo material. It was GREAT!
I have a special place in my heart for kiddos and especially kids from shelters/safe houses etc. Soooo, that was the project I got to go on :)
I visited a shelter for battered women and children, a family motel, and a safe house for women. The toughest part, was maintaining composure during the day. I wanted to go sit in the car and just cry. BUT, it was the most wonderful experience :)

This gentleman has lost 9 of his 10 toes to frostbite from being homeless in Denver :( He had such a gentle spirit about him, I could have talked to him for hours.

Despite the circumstances.... never fail to keep smiling :)

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Nebraska was an adventure.... now its time to get back in the car for another 7 hour drive to Denver!
We will be meeting up with some other Photogs to do a project with Volunteers of America and then spend the rest of the week at a cabin up at Vail!
Im not sure what internet access will be like up there, but I will respond to emails as soon I return :)


Whirlwind Adventures!

My southern Adventures began last Monday in Atlanta... I flew out to stay with Miss Liana Lehman to attend Biz Bootcamp ( That will get its OWN post because of its awesomeness!)
Anyway, after 3 days of crunching numbers, Amber Holritz came all the way from Tennessee to take me home with her for the night....
so, we drove 1.5 hours to TN... had dinner with more of my favorite people... The Nudds, The Smiths, and Melody.

Um, then i got to play with her little kids... they are just the CUTEST kids. Addison informed me that I could "call her sweetie if I wanted to, but her NAME was Addision" ;)... haha

slept a few hours then drove another 2 hours North the next day to have lunch with the Rockstar himself... Corey Mcnabb! I love this man... he makes me laugh so much! I will be helping out at his February workshop next month.... check it out! :)

after a few hours at the restaurant we sat in the backseat of his car and watched You Tube videos and played with the D3... ( I must admit, Nikon impressed me here)

Check out the Video Corey showed us!

Ok, so then it was 2 hours BACK to Chattanooga... drop off Amber, Pick up Nathan and another two hours South to have dinner with the AWESOMELY amazingly-amazing Chris and Katie of 6 of Four Creations! Along with Liana, her bf Mike and lil' miss Sara Harper

Liana and I had a flight out of Atlanta yesterday morning, for a speaking engagement in Nebraska PPA. Well, for some reason, it decided to SNOW in Atlanta so ALL the flights were cancelled. we had no other choice but to rent a car and DRIVE to Nebraska. 18 hours in the car, and 8 states later, we made it to Grand Island, NE.

technically I should be sleeping since I only got 3 hours of sleep, but well... what can I say, I would rather work :)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

It's alive!!

Ok people! So the blog may still be down....
(Anyone know how to hack into servers to retrieve information?! These people are NOT returning our messages!! :(...)


The new updated site is LIVE!


SHOUT... SHOUT... Let it all out... COME ON!
Im talking about BLU.... COME ON! doo doobey doo doo

Ok so that was my attempt at singing you a song that sings Blu's praises.
They have been nothing but absolutely amazing in helping me create this new site, and aiding in switch all my stuff over to a working server...not to mention that the customer service has been impeccable!
The backend portion is so fluid and easy... I cant believe that something like a website could be so simple!!!

**note: I just wanted to clarify that BLU is not the company I am experiencing issues with in regards to my blog and the server access. :)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Amy Seeley | Potential

If you haven't heard the awesomeness that is Amy Seeley... check her out!

Fellow Photographer Jesh deRox introduced the photo community to Amy through his website and workshops. She now resides in Oregon, so I had the opportunity to hear her play live the other night.
Kathy Carlisle, Shannon Sewell, Kristy Behrs and a few other girls and I picked her up in Downtown Portland, and amidst talks about 'boys', she wrote this song in the car, on the way to the concert!
Its called 'potential', but just listen to
A) her INCREDIBLLY-fantabulously-awesome voice
B) her mad skills for writing songs on the fly!
C) her hilarity


I swear, I am absolutely in love with people that can sing. One of my top 5 desert island necessities .... someone who can sing! (Preferably Ewan McGregor, but Amy will do.)

Technical Difficulties & Travel

If you can read this post... feel lucky! My server is still down so the blog isnt loading properly. I think the server gods hate me :(

.....and the necessary individuals aren't responding to any of our desperate cries for help.
So, because of that... the launch date has been pushed back. The site is ready to go but we are waiting for the access to the server files so we can transfer everything over, so just sit tight my friends.

Additionally, I will be out of town for the next two weeks traipsing across 4 different states and meeting up with tons of fellow friends and photographers. It'll be a whirlwind!

Portland > Atlanta > Tennessee > Atlanta > Denver > Nebraska > Denver > Portland...

Let the adventures begin!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Love is... | january

Our " Love is... " project has officially kicked off!
So, when deciding which charity to highlight this month, we have chosen to draw attention to one that is close to the heart of a few within our very own photo community.

March of Dimes.

Premature Birth is the leading killer of America's newborns. Those who survive often have lifelong health problems, including cerebral palsy, mental retardation, chronic lung disease, blindness and hearing loss.
The March of Dimes has taken on this devastating problem—to find out what causes it and how it can be stopped. For over 65 years, the March of Dimes has saved millions of babies and children from death and disabilities through their life-saving research, innovative programs, and dedicated volunteers.

Two mother's and fellow photographers share their photos..

The Goss’s of Arkansas gave birth to a baby boy 9 weeks premature. Brayson Cade Goss was born at 31 weeks gestation and weighing in at 3lbs 14 oz
to see a slideshow of the first 6 weeks of Brayson’s life, click here.

Crystal says....”Brayson just learned to pat-a-cake, and he does it all the time! He is also working very hard on crawling. He is getting to be a pretty good scooter! :)”

The Benner’s of North Carolina gave birth to a baby girl 10 week premature. Zoe Rae Benner was born at 30 weeks gestation and weighing in at 3 lbs 4oz. To see a video of Zoe's surprise homecoming click here

Shaelynn says... “Today... Zoe is doing WONDERFULLY! She now weighs 20 pounds! Quite a difference from her smallest weight!! She is cooing, laughing, sucking her thumb, smiling, sleeping through the night, rolling from tummy to back, crawling, almost walking, climbing stairs, and saying words like, Dada, Mama, Dog, Jump, Hi, etc. She is giving 5, blowing kisses, waving, and so much more! She is such a joy!
Thanks to March of Dimes, our daughter is alive and VERY well today! “

Both Families shared their amazing stories with me and I was so honored to get an inside glimpse into each of their lives. I wish I could post their entire stories!!
I was touched by how passionate and thankful these mother’s are for the role the March of Dimes have played in their lives. Without the efforts of this amazing foundation, these little ones may not be smiling back at us today!

Monday, January 7, 2008


I stopped by a friend's house tonight to get some help with my server issues.... but we all know that "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" ;)
Soooo....went out in the street and played with some lightwriting... Oh man I had so much fun. Its almost as cool as playing with sparklers!

First, we tried to give each other tu-tus...


Then we tried angel wings, but I think Tyler made me look like a cauliflower!

my flower...

say my name, say my name....

I think I am gonna start posting all the fun ways to write 'smile'... yesterday it was cleaner, today is a flashlight. ha.

And this was my pride and joy from our evening craziness... I was proud of this one! :)

Hooray for randomness.
Thanks Jeff & Tyler for helping me out tonight! But most of all, thanks for being dorky with me!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Adventures in Cleaning...

Ever since I was little, I actually have ENJOYED cleaning. Crazy, I know, but its always been an adventure to me...
When I was like 4 and 5, my favorite thing to do was clean the toilet... haha.... I thought the toilet brush was my witches wand and I was cleaning the cauldron!
(oh god. I cant believe I just said that!)

anyway, everyone always laughs at me because I like to draw pictures or write words with the cleaners... They say its a waste, I say its just a way to making cleaning fun!
The best thing is making up fun songs with kids while you clean together. It gets really goofy, but oh so fun!

As I was cleaning the kitchen today, I decided to share a little goofiness.
Smile people.... SMILE!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

LOVE is... | giving back

Let me get honest here and share a little of my heart....

We already know is undergoing a facelift... (we will be launching soon...stay tuned!)
But the passions and heart behind it all are being re-defined this year as well. We can call it a heart transplant if you will.

As I sat down and forecasted my business and personal goals for 2008, I couldn't seem separate my dreams and desires for both entities. So, rather than separating, we are embracing them as one and the same.

Someone asked me the other day why I do what I do? To be honest, I do what I do because I have a passion for people..
yes, I love photography but it's the opportunity to establish relationships, capture their lives and hearts, and bless others that keep me clicking away. At its core, its my way of giving back.

I may be stepping on toes here but I truly believe that we do not exist to serve ourselves but to truly serve others. Your vocal talents gift others... your leadership, artistic, and cooking talents bless others... every gifting and talent you posses is (at its root) intended to touch other people's lives.

So, with that in mind, is implementing a new way ensure that everything we do is (at its heart) intended to give back. Not just giving back by using talents but giving back with time and monetary resources as well


So, here is our game plan...

*Every month we will highlight a new charity/cause here on the blog. A percentage of every shoot (wedding, portrait, fashion...whatever) conducted within that month will be donated to the highlighted charity. Additionally, this will be a fun way to expose all you readers out there to charities and ways you can get involved!

*Also, thanks to the inspiration from the fabulous :e:, we will offer free Bridal Fashion sessions to brides who choose to donate their dresses to Brides Against Breast Cancer.


One more thing, I wrote this quote down a few months ago while sitting in a waiting room...
Just a thought ;)

"American Culture has become too comfortable with charity as a fashion trend or way to ease the conscience. The real social change comes from an investment of TIME, not just money. America has become much like an absent father...we throw money at things but, when it comes down to actually participating in the lives of the community, the nation, and the world, we really could care less" [Stephen Christian | lead singer of Anberlin]

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


I trust you all had a safe and happy New Years Eve! I dont know about you but I am so stinkin' stoked for 2008!!!

Every year, for the past like 8 years, we have thrown a New Years Party, but last minute we decided to forgo our traditional party and just keep it low-key. IT WAS PERFECT. Just me and the boys, like old times.

Growing up, I never had GIRLfriends... boys were less drama and we did cooler things like cliff jumping, camping & hiking instead of shopping! In fact, I really didn't start wearing heels until college because I couldn't hike in them. haha.


We reminisced about old times and I havent laughed as hard in a while.
Our friend George came from out of town and that boy holds the title of "person who makes me laugh the most in life". My stomach muscles are so stinkin' sore!

And, what a better way to start the new year than to cross off one of the things on my list of "things to do"...

**Play Scattergories all the way through, the right way!**

Now, there are two games I never lose at... Scrabble & Scattergories. BUT I must relinquish my Scattergories crown because I have finally met my match. George beat me by 6 points. SIX POINTS! *sigh*
(we are in a league all our own though, because we beat the other boys by over 40 points!)

And look what we dug up last night... This was all of us taken 9 years ago!! Can you tell we are from the Northwest by our pastiness?! ha.

fun times. :)

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