Well today is a fun day! We woke up to an email that our latest Walk Through a Wedding Workshop is being featured on the Style Me Pretty Little Black Book blog today! They put together a beautiful feature and it was so cool going back through those images and seeing all of the INCREDIBLE details that the amazing creatives who came together to make that workshop happen had created! These were some of the prettiest flowers that we have ever seen created by the amazing Carrie Wilcox! And every single detail of the day was planned flawlessly by superwoman & powerhouse event designer Miss Stacie Shea Events!
And that just got me all the more excited that they are BOTH are already on board to come out with us next month to Nantucket to put on our next Walk Through a Wedding w/ J&M workshop out there! And from what they've been telling me, they are going to go ALL OUT for this one! I seriously can't WAIT to see what they come up with!
We are down to just our LAST few spots for Nantucket, so if you've been thinking about joining us be sure to grab your seat before they're all gone! And to make it even easier, we have set up a payment plan of three payments, which means that you can reserve your spot today for just $400!! We also have a hotel block for affordable accommodations on the island, so now there isn't a good reason not to come! :) With wedding season in FULL swing, wouldn't it be amazing to give yourself the gift of a few days away to rest, re-center, and get re-inspired for the rest of the season?? I think SO! :) We would love to see you there!
**To lock in your seat to the August 20-21st Nantucket Walk Through just head over HERE!
We are so SO excited & honored to see Indhu & Greg's Miami wedding in the latest issue of The Knot! This was an incredible day, planned flawlessly by the amazing B.Belle Events & it makes my heart happy to see them in print!
We got to hear the amazing Jadah Sellner, the co-founder of Simple Green Smoothies, talk about using your platform to love and serve others first. She talked with incredible & powerful passion about serving people not numbers. And to focus on service, not stats. Because the truth is, you can have all the "followers" in the world, but if you aren't finding a way to serve then they're just that....numbers.
And the truth is, that is something that has been on our hearts for a long time & we've been trying to think of more & more ways to use the different platforms we have (this blog, Facebook, Instagram, in person!) to make them about something bigger than us. But it wasn't until we heard Jadah speak that this latest idea hit us like a ton of bricks with one big incredible DUH moment! :)
You see, Jadah & the Simple Green Smoothies team send daily recipes for healthy smoothies to their followers. It's that, well....simple. But it's turned into a really powerful thing. It turns out that one small daily improvement, that one small focused action....can turn into really BIG results over time. And they are helping every single person who follows them come closer to reaching their goals on a daily basis. Talk about a powerful use of platforms!
So we thought....how can we do the same thing with our community? And just like that, the idea of J&M Photo Recipes was born!
Basically, once a day during the week, we are going to be posting one of these recipes over on my Instagram page. Sometimes it will be about the lighting set up, sometimes the posing, sometimes the behind the scenes that went into it. And then we'll always try to include our settings on each image. We chose Instagram because we liked that we could a) update it daily b) everyone who follows along can be sure to see it (unlike Facebook) and c) we can hashtag it #jmphotorecipes so it creates a searchable archive of them that people can always go back through & find them all in one place. So that's it! The J&M Photo Recipes are born! If you would like to keep up with all of them, just be sure to head over HERE & follow along!
We are just wrapping up an incredible week in Seattle (but not before one last adventure to take the Bainbridge Ferry & channel my inner Grey's Anatomy!), and then we're headed down to Portland to attend the World Domination Summit! The WDS was actually the original reason for this trip out west & we signed up for it about a year ago. Every time we tell people that's where we're going, they ask us if it has something to do with Mussolini or Dr. Evil, lol! But it is actually this incredible conference put on by Chris Guillebeau, the author of The Art of Nonconformity & The $100 Start Up, and every year it sells out in a matter of minutes! And we were two of the lucky few who got seats!! So yea, we're pretty pumped!
I'm in this really interesting season of my life where everything could just not be going more amazingly with the business & photography and all of these BIG amazing things keep happening. We honestly could not ask for more & I feel so incredibly thankful and grateful and just don't believe most of it has actually happened most of the time, actually! Like I said, we couldn't ask for more....and yet at the same time, I'm in this season where I feel like I'm being called to more.
See for me, the dream always started out with writing. I was that weird kid who would walk around thinking in her own narrative ("She picked up the toy & walked through the yard.") And I'm lucky in that I get to do a good bit of that here on this blog and through things like The Guide. But I'm definitely walking into a season where I'm feeling called to have a part of my life where the writing stands on its own two feet, not necessarily photography specific. In truth, I think that part of the dream is to write business and/or motivation books and then to get to go around and talk to people about them. To look at them face to face and hear what's going on in their lives. I want to give a Ted Talk. I want to have people read or hear my words and know that in, at least some small way, those words and that work helped somebody and made their lives at least just a little bit better. Basically, people like Brene Brown and Gretchen Rubin and Jon Acuff and Christine Caine are my heroes. And I'm feeling the call to take at least the tiniest "toe in the water" step into that arena. Whew. That just got real, really fast you guys. I'm sweating over here putting that out for the world to see! Talk about listing out some big ole' hairy AUDACIOUS goals! Yikes! :)
Anyway, the WDS for me is the chance to get away for three days, not have the pressure of speaking at the conference ourselves, and just let people who've been there & are living the dream pour into our tanks for a while. It's kind of a chance for me to take this dream of mine "to the mattresses" (not to go all Godfather on you) and see if it has legs to stand on. My hope is to do a lot of dreaming. And a lot of thinking. And come out of it with at least a vision for where to go from here.
Dreaming is scary you guys. Putting it out there & saying what you want for your life is super uncomfortable. It's that sweaty palms, pit in your stomach, "who am I to say I want this" icky mire that all of the dreamers out there have to take their own turns wading through. Like molasses. It's slow going and a lot of times it feels like you go it alone. But just know that you are not alone. If you are out there & there is a dream in your heart that kind of makes you want to throw up a little....just know that I'm right there with you. And honestly, I think those moments in life where we have the sweaty palms and the shaking hands and we want to throw up a little....those times when we stand right on the edge of the arena and then take that step....those are the times when we are most alive.
Sure, the pink peony rings in a close second. And I will always have a special affection for the, well, lilac colored lilac. And standing in fields of lavender last summer is a moment I never want to forget.
But the simple fact is, the blue hydrangea has always been first in my heart.
We had blue hydrangeas at our engagement party. I had hydrangeas in my wedding bouquet. I think they are, simply put, the prettiest of all the flowers.
Four years ago when we bought our house, there were those who, shall we say, thought we had lost our fool minds. And, for a second there, they could have almost been right. Having been built in the 1880s, it was nearly 130 years old. It was run down. It had mold in it. Oh, and the ceiling and the walls were falling in from the 20 feet of water it had been under when a pipe burst on the third floor. And the only way they caught it was when they saw water pouring out of the second floor window.
Yea. It was not the obvious decision to say the least.
And yet, from the second I walked through the front door, moldy air and all....I knew it was ours.
I can't explain it. I just get these gut feelings on things. And at this point in my life, I have just learned to run with them. No really, run with them. Full on sprint, lungs burning, legs on fire, side stitches RUN with them. Because they have always led me to the best things in my life. It was a gut feeling that said I should put off going to law school for a year, and I ended up studying in London and having one of the best year of my life instead. It was a gut feeling that said I should get in my car & go meet up with a brown eyed boy at a coffee shop, and I ended up marrying him. :)
And it was a gut feeling when I walked through the front door of this big old white colonial and side stepped a huge chunk of ceiling, that told me we should put in an offer on a certifiable disaster area (did I mention that the same people who cleaned up Katrina were the ones we had to bring in to make our house actually livable? yea, amazing.) And... it ended up becoming the beautiful place we now get to call home.
The day that we closed on the house, we weren't able to go inside because they were still making it, y'know, breathable. So we did what any new homeowners would do....we started working on the yard! The front of the house had been completely overgrown with these huge weeds every time we had gone to visit, so we set about doing the work of cutting them back. Machete in the jungle style, we hacked it all back. And guess what. When that all fell away to reveal what was behind, what did we find hiding that we never knew was there?
Two beautiful, big, blue hydrangea bushes that just keep getting prettier every year.
Which we keep right there front & center as a reminder to always trust our gut. To be brave. To be willing to take the long way around and do the work. To start with what we have and build from there.
No matter who might think we're crazy. No matter who can't see what we see. No matter how messy things might look in the beginning.
For there are far, far more beautiful things just on the other side. If you'll just have the courage to step through that door.