Do you wanna know what's really funny about that title, is that that song is actually NOT one of my favorite things. It kind of weirds me out really. I mean, whiskers on kittens? What kind of crazy person lists that as one of their favorite things? I think Julie Andrews was just making stuff up at that point. My theory is that she was mad at the directors for making her spin around so many times in that field. So she just started saying stuff- kind of like that Brad Pitt Chanel No. 5 commercial - never dreaming that they'd actually keep it. And that she'd be getting requests to sing it for the rest of her life. Jokes on you Julie Andrews.
But, I digress.
The other day as we were coming out of Target, I randomly started thinking about what some of my favorite things are. This is probably because we are working on a new brand, and asking yourself what things you actually like- what things are actually YOU (as opposed to what things you think you are supposed to like)- is a crucial part of the process. I started thinking about a lot of the trends that come and go, and then some of the things that have remained favorites over time. Those things that become stitched into the fabric of the quirky quilt that makes each of us who we are.
So with that in mind, here are a dozen of my favorite things that help sew together the pieces of me.
Favorite perfume: my tried & true favorite is Dior's J'adore. I first started wearing it my first year of law school, and every time I put it on it reminds me of that first summer I met Justin.
Favorite makeup: When I was in high school & college, I was a total Clinique girl. Now I tend to lean more towards Mac, but really I have stuff from all over. However, my favorite go to eye shadow combination is Jest & Cranberry from MAC. Jest on the lid, cranberry in the crease, perhaps a little Motif under the eyebrow. It's good stuff.
Favorite current tv show: I'm going to be honest, there is a lot of really bad stuff out there right now. I went Hulu surfing a few nights ago, and it was as if tv was dying. That being said, one shining gem that we can't get enough of right now is Nashville. The music, the drama, the inter-weaving storylines. That's just quality programming right there. And those two little girls singing Ho Hey? That's all you need to know to see why we love it! Plus it's about country music, which brings me to....
Favorite kind of music: Country of course! I will say that I like all kinds of music and I am generally loving what's on the radio these days. The new Pink song, Mumford & Sons, Philip Phillips with his weirdly redundant name (said Mary Marantz!!) and anything that involves clapping, syncopation (just learned that word on Google!) or making music with red solo cups. I'm pretty much a fan. But country music will always have my heart. I'm a West Virginia girl after all, and we're practically born with a fiddle playing in our heart. I am especially loving Miss Miranda Lambert lately. "Mama's Broken Heart" is amazing.
Favorite place to shop: No shocker here. I've been a J.Crew devotee since my first day of law school when I bought a gray cardigan to make Elle Woods proud. Since then, their classic preppy goodness just speaks to me. And I find when I shop at their outlet that's luckily nearby us...they speak to me even more! :) But I also really enjoy Brooks Brothers, Tommy Hilfiger, Kate Spade, and Banana Republic.
Favorite movie: Ok, this one is super hard for me because I just love movies in general and watch them every chance I get. There are so many movies that could fill this spot: Gone With the Wind, Steel Magnolias...Super Bad. But when it came right down to it, I had to give the award to a movie that I both love and also fills me with WV pride: October Sky. It's the true story of a young boy (Homer Hickam) who wants to go to college, but, just like so many WV kids in my dad's generation, is told that his place is in the coal mines. So he starts building rockets to win a scholarship. And the rest is NASA, true story, cinematic history. Plus, it has Jake Gyllenhaal in it. I'm just sayin.
Favorite lip gloss: Carmex lip balm. I have tried pretty much every fancy lip gloss known to MAN, and none of them compare to this 79 cent gem that my grandma used to wear.
Favorite Golden Girl: Hands down, Sophia. I think most girls of my generation spend their time asking which Sex & the City girl they would be (for the record, I think I would be a Carrie), but not me. For me, it's all about the GG's. And if I could pick just one to be, it would always be Sophia. But I worry an unusual amount, that instead I would be the Dorothy. :)
Favorite place to eat: Definitely goes to the appropriately named "The Place" in Guilford, CT. You sit on wood stumps You bring your own wine. They have a circus tent in case of rain. And they grill the best lobsters, clams, and corn on the cob on an open fire pit. If Heaven had a restaurant, it would be just like this.
Favorite flower: For my yard- hydrangeas. For bouquets- peonies. For that flower garden I keep meaning to plant: English Roses.
Favorite go to tropical vacation: St. Lucia where we honeymooned. But my bucket list tropical vacation would be Bora Bora.
Favorite guilty pleasure: US Weekly. I've been reading it since college when my grandma accidentally ordered a subscription because she thought it was US World Report. She passed it on to me, and I've been reading it while standing in line at the grocery store ever since.
Happy Monday y'all!
So tell me! Which Golden Girl would you most likely be? What's your favorite lip gloss? Which movie could you watch over and over?
There are steps that you take in this life. Steps that take you to the next stage. Steps that get you closer to where you want to go. Steps that are just part of the process. And then there are steps that change everything. Steps that as you walk them, you do not question the footing. Or where the road may lead. Because every path has led to this moment right here. And the only thing left to do is leap.
She came to the bottom of the stairs, and didn't hesitate for a second as she walked up to him. She stood at the end of the aisle, and didn't have to think once about those next steps ahead of her. Thirty-seven or so of them or between her and him. And the rest of their lives. Together. And as she walked them, she did not question the footing. Or where their road might lead. Because she knew every path, and all the race courses in between, had led to this moment right here.
And the only thing left to do was leap.
Married: Jojo & Todd
Jojo & Todd were married at the beautiful Lake of Isles resort last weekend, surrounded by a slight chill in the air and the warmth of every heart there that loved them. It was a little colder than they had been planning for their outdoor ceremony, so plans were quickly changed and the ceremony was moved indoors. But as soon as the words started being spoken, there was never any doubt that it was still going to be just as beautiful. The pictures were super important to Jojo & Tood, so I'm super grateful that they left a lot of time for them before the ceremony and we were able to shoot outside before it got too cold! J&T met while racing cars, so they included elements in their details to pay honor to that. There were matchbox cars on the tables & boutonnieres. A mini Cooper in Jojo's bouquet. Steering wheels for Todd's cufflinks. The day was also inspired by Jojo's incredbile BHLDN dress that featured silk butterflies. So there were butterflies on the cake, as the guest book, and on the cutest flower girl you ever did see! Jojo & Todd, we can't thank you enough. For your love and who you are as people. You make everyone around you feel like they've been your best friend forever. And that's a rare thing in this world. But that makes sense. Because so is a love like yours. We are so grateful to call you friends! Can't wait to go go-karting with you guys! :)
The hardest part about sending that email that could change everything is not pressing send...it's writing the first line.
The hardest part about branding (or rebranding!) your business is not picking out fonts and colors....it's taking the time sit down and actually figure out who you are first.
The hardest part about going full time is not the day you leave your day job....it's the day, months before then, when you decide to leave your day job and start putting in the work to make it happen.
Anytime you're starting that new project, writing that article, launching that new line, the hard part isn't the launching. The launching is the fun part. The launching comes with balloons, champagne, and funfetti.
The hard part is starting.
It's putting pen to paper. It's sketching out ideas. It's being willing to sit down and write that outline. Or blog post. Or business plan.
It's the day you're willing to stop talking about it (trust me, everyone has already heard you talk about it) and to take one step, no matter how small, to actually doing it.
To be able to resist the resistance, lean in to the fear, and sit through the edginess. To push past that uncomfortable feeling that comes every time you tip toe at the borders of your comfort zone and for once not go running back into the shelter of what has always been. To take that step out. Into the uncertain. And into the unknown.
Be willing to decide. Be willing to begin. Be willing to try.
Because what we know is life doesn't begin when you're finished.
Life begins when you start.
**Can't wait to show more of Jojo & Todd's gorgeous wedding soon!
Love isn't Always Pretty, But it IS Always Beautiful
Yesterday our amazing past bride-turned-friend Malika sent us this email. It was short. To the point.
And it rocked me to my core.
I was familiar with the Dove commercials that show a real person and then all of the hair, makeup, lighting and photoshop manipulation that go into making an ad. So when I saw the "I think you do this for people" part I was intrigued....and a little worried. :) The number one word that Justin & I have settled on to strive for in our work is "authentic," so I really hoped we weren't coming across like those ads. Then I clicked on the link, and everything changed.
I sat crying happy tears. Big, fat, mush up your face, let the water roll down happy tears.
Both for this incredibly powerful commercial and what it stands for....and because it's true. We as photographers, all of us, have the power to do this for people. And because I was SO grateful to have someone as wonderful as Malika in my life to remind me of that.
I think sometimes in the wedding industry, we get really caught up with pretty. And perfect. The pretty dress, the pretty light, the pretty location. The perfect flower head wreath, the perfect table in a field, the perfect model with not a hair out of place. And don't get me wrong, pretty has its place. I love looking at these sorts of things on Pinterest too. And they can be really visually inspiring. But I think the problem is, sometimes we're so busy looking for pretty...that we miss beautiful when it's standing right in front of us.
I've been thinking a lot lately about this phrase that keeps coming to me: love isn't always pretty, but it IS always beautiful. Sometimes it's the dishes stacked up for four days in the sink because you're just that busy rather than the cuteness of "you wash, i'll dry." Sometimes it's the hard times and the hard conversations rather than the soft pillows and soft places to land. Sometimes it's swallowing your pride rather than the chocolate cake & orange juice you really wish you were eating. But you know what? It's ALL beautiful. And that's what makes it worth it.
And as photographers, we have the chance to show that. To show that a wedding isn't just about the pretty dress in the pretty field, or the perfect invitation suite. And it isn't about not having a hair out of place or looking really skinny either. It's about the bittersweet tears that were shed that morning when the bride was missing her dad so much. It's about the wrinkles on a grandmother's face and the 70 years of life and laughter it took to put them there. It's about laughing in the storms. And holding on to each other just a little longer. It's a father's face three seconds before he loses it because it feels like he's losing everything. And three generations gathered in one room. It's sixty-two years in, holding a picture from day one. And it's knowing that this life sometimes may break you... but there will still always be Joy.
Lean into that. Let that light your way as a photographer and the body of work you stand for.
Because the way I see it, beautiful beats pretty any day.
This morning we are taking off for a few days for a little mini getaway & reunion with the "What's Next Crew." It's funny, when you live with people on a tour bus for three weeks you really can't help but become friends for life with them. These are our people, the true sort of friends who I know would fight to the death for us. And vice versa. And now I can't imagine NOT seeing them for more than a few months at a time. Sometimes, I think if we all had our way, we would just live part of every year on a bus together going cross-country. Like some modern version of Road Rules, where the challenges would involve catching Sour Patch Kids in your mouth, serious face dance contests, lip synching the literal version of Total Eclipse of the Heart, and.....showering at 80mph. Clearly. :)
But before we take off, I just wanted to hop on real quick to give a HUGE thank you to the amazing folks at Soolip Wedding App who have just featured us as one of their top photographers along with the incredible company of Elizabeth Messina, The Modern Romance and Max Wanger. If you haven't checked it out yet, Soolip is one of the top design resources in the industry, and was inspired by their founder Wanda Wen's inspiration boards for her celebrity clients. For you brides out there, it is an amazing way to pull all of your design ideas together in one place. And the whole gallery has been hand picked & curated to have only just really beautiful & elegant ideas. We are incredibly, incredibly honored to be listed along with a group of such amazingly talented people! And yea, this pretty much just made our whole week when we found out!
Well y'know that....and the promise of serious face dance contests!
And given that I'm in such a good mood looking forward to Sour Patch Kids, I think it's time for another contest! Just leave us a little note below & we're going to pick one winner to get either a $25 gift card to Lush (for showering at 80mph, clearly!) or Adorama. Your choice! We'll be announcing the winner Friday morning. And....GO!!