One of the things that we have come to love the most about the teaching side of our business is that we have gotten the chance (and honestly the complete honor) to see other photographers really grow and reach new level after new level over the past few years. I think what's been one of the coolest things about all of this is that people are very rarely ever just doing one thing with us (which we know as teachers is one of the absolute highest compliments we could ever get & we're SO grateful for that). They might start with a lighting workshop, but then they are coming back for a mentoring session or to attend a Walk Through. And a lot of times, we're seeing people even come back and take a lighting intensive again or to do a second repeat of Walk Through. Because what happens is that they are taking away something different from it each time they do it, and both of those workshops just have SO much information in them that they can really grow with people over time as they are reaching different levels in their photography & businesses. So what that means, is that we might have first met some of these photographers four or five years ago when they were first getting started, but we have gotten the chance to keep track with them and watch their businesses absolutely explode over time. It has been amazing to watch! And honestly, it makes those six & twelve hour days at the workshops SO worth it!
So that got us thinking that it would be so awesome to have a type of session devoted just to those alums who are ready to take it (whatever "it" might be for them at the moment!) to the next level! A type of one hour power session they could do with us for a focused, intense brainstorming session on whatever their next BIG What's Next is for them, whether that be something with their business, brand, lighting, pricing, positioning, teaching, going full time, bringing on associates, starting a second business, or whatever crazy, amazing things they are dreaming up next! This would be a session that can be done over Skype, so they don't have to travel to CT again and can be very specific to whatever level they are ready to work on next! And with that, the "What's Next Sessions" were born!
**The What's Next Sessions will be $350 for a one-hour power mentoring session done over Skype (or can be in person if you're local!) and can be about whatever specific, unique to you & where you are topics that you want! These sessions are limited to our J&M alums, and you must have done a prior workshop or mentoring session with us to be eligible. We are going to start by opening up six sessions for the rest of the year & to be one of the first six click HERE to reserve your spot!!
And speaking of power alums, our two most recent mentoring sessions were ones we got to do with photographers we have been SO lucky to watch do amazing things the past few years! Kerri first came to a J&M Lighting Intensive and then the What's Next One Day Getaway we did last winter, and I can tell you this girl is ready to set the world on fire! I LOVED the things that were on her heart at her session, and I can already tell that so many people's lives are going to be impacted by the work she is doing! And Amy has taken two Lighting Intensives with us and is now traveling the world shooting for Richard Branson! We obviously don't take credit for that :) but I know that whatever he throws at her, this girl is definitely going to know how to light it! When we sat down with her, she told us about some HUGE big, hairy audacious dreams for where she wants this business of hers to go. And so we went to work, together, and came up with ten next steps to get her there. So much about chasing a big scary dream is about putting it into actionable next steps....and we LOVE helping people do just that!
If you have a big, scary dream that you are tired of waiting on, we would love to be the ones to give you that next BIG healthy shove into action!
Around this time seven years ago, I was getting my hair done when a bellman brought a grande Starbucks up to the suite where me & my (nine!) girls were getting ready. On the side, written in a familiar handwriting were the words "I love you a latte."
And right then, for the one millionth time, I was reminded of how I was- and continue to be- the luckiest girl on the planet.
See I started to type right there, "I was reminded of how I was making the best decision ever," but the truth is marrying Justin was never really a decision. At least no more than the earth decides to rotate around the sun or we decide to let gravity have a pull on us or two magnets decide to snap together with a force that makes it impossible to pull them apart.
The truth is, I was born to love this boy. As if it's coded in me, right down to my DNA.
Every part of me is happy just to be in his orbit. His is the kind of gravity that pulls you in and makes you feel rooted, but still lets you know what it is to fly. And the forces that snapped us together to begin with seven years ago, just get stronger over time. I'm pulled to him. Anchored to him, like a ship that's safe in the storm. And sometimes when we sit on the couch together and I press the side of my face against his, I get what the magnet was going through.
It's like you always want to know what it is to be just a little bit closer.
I know a love like ours is rare in this world. I get that. And I know that not everyone gets to have it. So that is why with every breath in me I am grateful. So, so, so grateful. And that makes me feel like the luckiest girl on the planet.
With all the gravity and orbiting and forces greater than us that entails.
Here's to the first seven of seventy.
Love you more,
**After seeing my friend Katelyn's anniversary recap for her & Michael (theirs was on 10-10), I thought it would be fun to go back through some of our favorite photos from our wedding day! Photo credit goes to our own wedding photographer David Jay, second shooter Becker, and our friend Amanda who also grabbed some fun shots!
Happy HAPPY birthday Justin!!!! You are the pumpkin to my spiced latte, the caramel to my apple, the color to my world. You are the tin man who stole my heart & October will always be the BEST month because it brought you to me. I can't wait to celebrate all day with you!
Love you more.
**Will you all join me in wishing Justin a VERY happy birthday!!! Leave him some love in the comments below!
For the longest time, Justin & I didn't push one way or another on whether or not our couples would be doing a First Look with their wedding day timeline.
It's always been really important to us and one of our guiding goals on the wedding day that we "tell the story without becoming too much a part of it." And so for the longest time, we shied away from talking too much about the First Look even though we knew that it would make the day flow SO much more smoothly because we didn't want to recommend something simply because it would make our lives easier.
But then we started realizing what a HUGE difference it makes in the kind of day our couples were having. It was completely night and day and the difference between a rushed, stressed out, no time for photos, missing half the party to play catch up and missing all the good food at cocktail hour kind of day.....and a relaxed, fun, get three times as many photos, family & bridal party photos are actually fun, spend more of the day together, enjoy every second of your party kind of day!
And that was what made us change our mind about recommending- even pushing for- the First Look. That as the experts and having seen hundreds of these days happen, we KNOW what a difference this can make. Finally this year, we put together the top 7 reasons that a First Look makes the entire day better and when our couples are on the fence about whether or not to do one, we send that list over and they almost always opt to see each other beforehand....the biggest reason being, they hadn't realized just how much it impacts the entire day! (**Note that if after seeing the list, they still decide to wait until the ceremony to see each other, we always respect their decision! We just like to make sure they have all the info before deciding!)
I know a lot of us realize how amazing a First Look makes the whole day go, but it can be hard putting that into words to explain to your clients when they haven't had the benefit of seeing it go both ways. So we are going to be sending out our full list of the 7 things we tell all of our couples now in favor of the First Look that does the work of explaining it for us, this afternoon in our next J&M newsletter! We've included a sample from the list below & just be sure to click "receive our email newsletter" at the bottom of this post to get signed up and receive all 7 reasons later today!
4. It makes the family photos go three times faster! When we do the family photos before the ceremony, we can usually crank them out in about 15 minutes using our "family photo football" approach. But when we have to wait to do the family photos until after the ceremony, once all the guests are there & there are plenty of distractions from that and cocktail hour going on, these photos can take up to 3-4 times longer usually taking up all of cocktail hour. The reason for that, is that with so much else going on and so many more people to talk to, some family members always end up wandering away either to talk to some one or help take care of something. And that holds every combination that they're in up. Usually what happens next is that someone goes to get them, and now we're missing two people! And so on! Add to that fact that you can actually see the party going on without you, and now not only are the family photos actually taking three times as long to do....but they FEEL like they're taking 10 times as long because all you want to do is get to the party & start enjoying your day! We can tell you from years of experience that this leads to a lot of tension and snapping at family members on what should be such a happy day. When we can get these photos done before the ceremony, everyone is present, focused on the task at hand, and we can all actually all have FUN with the photos!
Happy Thursday friends!
**Note that if you're interested in learning more about how we run a whole wedding day including the timeline, family photos, managing the bridal party, portraits in a time crunch, dark churches/receptions & more, we have only SIX spots remaining in our last Walk Through a Wedding workshop of the year taking place on November 5th in New Haven, CT. Click HERE to reserve your spot today & be sure to use the code "EARLYBIRD" to grab $150 off our seat!!