Tuesday, December 29, 2015

What I learned about Business, Photography, and Life in 2015

2014 was the best year of my life. I grew my business, Tyler came home from his mission, I got engaged, got MARRIED, and many other exciting things. But 2015?! 2015 was probably hands down, the hardest year of my life so far. But it was probably the best year FOR me because I learned so many invaluable things about my business, photography, and myself. 

I think that through struggle and mistakes we can learn powerful lessons. So here are some things I have learned and grown from! 

1. You can't do it all: For my whole life I've been a bubbly, happy, positive person! And I've always loved that about myself, and it's helped my business grow like no other. But at the beginning of this year I swirled into an anxiety-ridden depression that turned my entire world around. ( I would later come to find out that a lot of this was due to a medication I was taking. Lovely. I know) But I found myself loosing my passion, my happiness, and my drive for life. Running my business and graduating college was the breaking point for me and I completely lost it. I had never felt so dark and low. Ever. It was all too much to handle for me even though I pretended that I could handle it all. I learned that only YOU know how much stress you can handle and you shouldn't take on too much at the same time or you will start loosing who you really are. Luckily when Summer rolled around I was blessed with the most AMAZING weddings and clients that reminded me of how much I loved being a photographer. 

2. Happiness brings more happiness: I love my clients. And I LOVE their sessions. The fact that my job allows me to hang you with sweet, happy, amazing couples in love brings me so much happiness I can't even tell you. Yes this job gets extremely stressful and there are days I just want to give up, but in the end I am constantly reminded how much I love documenting and capturing these once-in-a-lifetime moments. During my shoots I try to be as happy and bubbly as possible (and how could you not be when you are having fun with your clients) and what I've learned is the happier I am during the session, the more happy my clients will look and feel in their photos. If I'm having a fun time and making sure my clients are having a wonderful experience as well, then the end results include happy couples who loved their session, love their photos, and walk away remembering how much fun they had and feel that way each time they look through their pictures. 

3. HATERS GONNA HATE (Stealing this one from my friend Emily's blog, love you Em!) This one was hard for me to come to grips with. Not everyone is going to like you! Some people won't like your photography, or your style, or your personality. But that doesn't matter! What matters is how you feel about yourself and your work at the end of the day. If you are being the best you can possibly be, it shouldn't matter what other people say. I got my first ever "Hate" email from an anonymous person this year who called me a complete Moron. The message read "Just so you know I think you are a complete Moron for giving out the copyrights to your images." First of all, I have never given the copyrights out for my photos, only print releases. And second of all WHO THE HECK CARES?! Just the fact that someone would take time out of their day to send an email to make someone feel bad is gross to me. Haters gonna hate but you just got to brush it off and be the best you can be! :)

4. Give yourself credit: The best advice I got all year came from my husband. He grabbed my face after a hard day and said "You need to give yourself more credit. Be proud of what you have accomplished. You DESERVE to feel good about yourself." Sometimes we are constantly looking around to see what everyone else is doing. Especially in photography because there are SO MANY talented photographers in Utah. Seriously. I am blown away constantly by the talent. But because of that I find myself constantly comparing myself to others and never thinking that I am good enough. This isn't true. Sometimes you need to take a step back and look at yourself and say, I AM good enough. I am doing the best I can do and that's good enough for me! Now that doesn't mean you can't grow, learn, and become an even BETTER photographer and person! It just means that you need to be proud of yourself from time to time for how far you have come and how hard you have worked. 

5. Work hard and put yourself out there, don't be afraid to dream BIG: Sometimes it's hard to put yourself out there. But I've learned that when you do, good things will come if you work hard! I have never worked so hard in my life than this past year. Growing a photography business in Utah has proved to be quite difficult but more rewarding than I could have ever imagined. I put myself out there this year and met some incredible photographers who I admire and can call my friends, got published on some wonderful blogs, was able to travel to Idaho, California, Boston, and Connecticut to do what I love and shoot weddings, and with help put together some unforgettable styled shoots just for fun to improve my skills. Blessed doesn't begin to cut it. Hard work and dedication over time and through lot's of tears, hustle, and stress I ended the year with a business that I was beyond proud of. Also a huge thanks to a very patient and loving husband. I found my true style this year. I actually found words that describe my style which I've never been able to before: romantic, free-spirited, airy, full of light, and happy.

I truly can't express how grateful I am. And I can't even begin to describe how excited I am for 2016! I already have a handful of beautiful brides who have booked with me, and lot's of exciting things that have happened for the next year! So see you later 2015 and bring on 2016!! 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas Lights

Tyler and I went two different times downtown to see the lights this season with some of our close friends and it was so much fun! Freezing but always worth it. I like the feeling of walking around downtown hand in hand with Tyler looking at all the lights and feeling the holiday spirit. It's such a fun tradition! For the past three years I haven't liked Christmas at all. But this year has been different because I decided to change up my attitude. I've really gone out of my way to make this season fun! We actually got a Christmas tree this year (which I'll have to post about later) and we have done other little simple things that have made this season wonderful for the both of us. I actually, sorta have liked the Christmas season this year! I can't wait to celebrate this week! 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

One Year Anniversary!

This post is long overdue since our anniversary was November 20th!! Whoops!! :) I literally cannot believe that it is has already been a year since Tyler and I got married. That was probably the fastest year of my entire life!

To celebrate our first year as a married couple we stayed in bed until noon, ate some waffles, went to the puppy barn (we are craving a puppy so much) and got all dressed up and had dinner up at the St. Regis where we spent the first couple nights on our honeymoon! It was a lovely, simple day with just the two of us. 

 Our first year of marriage was chalk full of ups and downs! We laughed and cried, were happy and sad, and had a year full of adventure. But I will tell you one thing that has remained true through it all. NOTHING is more amazing than being married to your best friend. Having that one person that understands you more than anyone and will stand by your side no matter what. I feel like I've learned a lot about myself this past year and a lot about love. Love is many different things, but putting someone's needs before your own and giving yourself unconditionally to someone is one of the most beautiful and powerful things that you can do. I am SO grateful for this smart, strong, hard-working, supportive, sweet man who has carried me so many times throughout this year. I'm definitely not perfect. FAR from it. And neither is Tyler. But what we have learned is that we are perfect for each other. And we will forever be grateful for our loving Heavenly Father who helped us find each other and give us the beautiful life we will have together for eternity! 

Here's to many more anniversaries to come Tyler, you ridiculously good looking man you ;)

(Here are some of my favorite engagement, bridals, and wedding day photos to remember the experience that happened a year ago. These photos will always be dear to my heart!)


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A Disneyland Halloween

For as long as I can remember going to Disneyland on Halloween has always been on my bucket list. I just figured that taking my favorite holiday and one of my favorite places and smashing them together would be AMAZING and I was totally right!! This trip was an absolute dream come true! 

Tyler and I kinda screwed up and went to disneyland at the beginning of the year and didn't check the website for which rides would be closed. It ended up almost EVERYTHING we truly wanted to ride and do was closed the first time we went. Splash Mountain, World of Color, The Matterhorn, Peter Pan, and the actual castle had a tarp over it! It was kind of a bummer. So we decided to take a second chance and it was a MILLION Times better. Everything was open and decorated perfectly for Halloween. The people at disney blow my mind with how intensely and beautifully they decorated for Halloween. It was so fun!! I loved just walking around and seeing all of the cool Halloween decorations!

We got to ride all the rides we wanted multiple times, saw the parades, firework show and world of color, googled "top ten treats to get at disneyland" and made it our mission to try as many as we could(favorites include: Matterhorn Macaroon, Mint Julep and Mickey Beignets, dalmatian mint ice-cream sundae, and red apple freeze drink), we magically got lucky with a guy handing us his fast passes for a ride he wasn't using, and then another guy we met in line invited us to come with him on tower of terror using his stroller swap (which is totally cool by the way), and much more!! This trip is one I will always remember. Tyler and I literally could not stop smiling and we had a total blast!! 

 (Posing with the strangers behind us ha ha)

 This my friends is a Matterhorn Macaroon the you get at the "Jolly Holliday" on Mainstreet USA. And let me tell you... the rumors are true. This little piece of heaven is DIVINE! If you love thick, gooey, coconuty goodness... then this is the treat for you. And guess what. It's HUGE and it was $1.99 uh #winning.

 Dalmatian mint chocochip sundae from the ice-cream parlor on mainstreet. Tyler and I shared this and it was amazing!

 The castle was completely decked out in Diamonds for the 60th diamond anniversary celebration and it was BEAUTIFUL!! I kinda hope they keep the diamonds on from now on even once the year is over. 

This is a red apple freeze drink from Cars Land. People kept recommending this one to us and yet it was the treat I was the least enthusiastic with. At first it just tastes like regular apple juice and then once you hit certain spots in the drink, Ty and I decided it kinda tasted like a weird apple pie. But hey!! To each their own! On the other hand... I forgot to take a picture of the Mint Julep drink at the Mint Julep Bar in New Orleans Square and THAT was SOOOO good. You would have to like mint though! I would totally recommend that one instead of this one!