When Justin & I were first getting started, we sat down one night and took a look at our numbers and realized we were actually losing money for every wedding that we shot. Uh yea, WHOOPS! I had learned a couple of things from the business classes I had taken in law school, and I'm pretty sure one of the chapters in our text book had read "in building a successful business, really try not to lose money." So we knew some things had to change.
A few years later when we had gotten our prices up where "everyone" said they needed to be, we were so proud of that really BIG package we had and made sure everyone knew about it. Yea, until we sat down again one night and realized we actually MADE less from that package than one of our smaller ones. Again yea, WHOOPS!
Let's face it, pricing your worth for something as subjective as photography is hard work. And so is running a business that actually makes you a living. Justin & I are both full time, this is our bread, butter and JAM! So we had to find a way to make sure this wasn't just an expensive hobby, but something that actually made us a living. Over the past seven years, we've lost jobs because we were too expensive and we've lost jobs because we were too cheap. And somewhere through it all, we've found a pricing structure that just really works for us & our clients. We realized we didn't want to be one of those photographers who are only known because they charge a lot, but then don't actually book anything. We wanted to work. And we wanted to shoot. Because we love it.
And we wanted to be able to make both a LIFE and a LIVING doing this thing we LOVE.
On May 22nd & 23rd we are SO honored to be part of an online free event called "Pain-Free Pricing" put on by The Joy of Marketing & WHCC, where we will get to join 9 of the top industry experts to share our pricing story and what we've found is really working for us now. Like I said, it's totally free for you to tune in & listen and all you have to do is head over HERE to get registered. And if you can't listen in those days, they also have the downloads (along with the pricing packets from all 10 speakers) available for purchase!
Remember back in high school how they would always do morning announcements? And how we all secretly wished that a xylophone was involved like they had at Rydell High in Grease? No? That was just me? Oh well, nevermind then!
Well today we have so much to cover, that I decided to do my own version of Friday morning announcement. And just know that I am totally sitting here with a xylophone in my office right now. And wearing a bee hive. And doing the hand jive. (Grease is the) Word!
First up, is that we are so excited to announce TWO NEW STOPS for our J&M Lighting Intensive: Chapel Hill, NC on June 5th & Minneapolis, MN on June 19th!! We opened these up yesterday to our J&M Facebook page first, and the seats are already starting to fill up. So be sure to grab your spot soon if you want to come! For anyone who signs up TODAY, we will also be including a copy of The Guide ($150 value). To grab your seat, just head over HERE.
Second, is that we were super honored to see that Rangefinder Magazine picked up the story of our deserving solider Disney giveaway at our WPPI Platform & the shoot we did with Sonya, Steven & Grace earlier this year before the What's Next Tour!! I LOVE seeing these guys in there!
Next up, our good friends Ashley & Graham (the Scobeys!!) have just seen one of their bHag's (big, hairy, audacious goals for those of you who are new here!) come to life with the start of their "Art to Aid" project which is pretty much rocking my world! From Graham:
"Art to Aid is an online marketplace that enables people to do good through the act of creating and through the act of buying creative goods. We exist to cultivate a community around the idea that consumerism is not an individualistic endeavor; that it has the potential to not only be mutually beneficial between the buyer and the seller, but beneficial to society and to the world. It is an open, social platform that is free to join. Creatives can elect a cause to champion and to whom they will give a selected portion of their profits. They can then create their personalized storefront, list and sell their products, track their impact, set goals, and collaborate with other creatives who are championing the same cause. Consumers can browse by traditional categories of items, or they can choose to browse by causes that are important to them and seek out creatives that are supporting those causes. Consumers will also be able to track their impact, create wish lists, subscribe to their favorite creatives, and participate in community discussions. You can find out more about what we are doing and why we are doing it at www.arttoaid.com."
These guys have set an amazing goal of having 1,000 creatives signed up by September, so if this speaks to you....head on over & join the cause!
And finally, we were so sooo SO excited to have our work featured as the both the back & front cover for Style Me Pretty's new Little Black Book Guide!! These guys are pretty much the authority on all things pretty, so this was such a HUGE honor for us!
Happy Friday y'all!
**And oh wait, almost forgot the most exciting announcement of all! Congratulations to our Starbucks winner....Miss BrandiLynn Aines!!! Congrats!!
Today is a day full of good things! First up, we were incredibly honored to find out that Brides Magazine picked up Kristin & Chad's Greenwich wedding as one of their featured real weddings. Kristin & Chad had an incredible day filled with centerpieces of peaches, mint & the prettiest flowers you ever did see. They also made sure to give lots of honor to Chad's Kentucky heritage, so there was sweet tea, biscuits, and drink stirrers with Kentucky Derby references. It's still one of our all-time favorites! You can see the full feature by going HERE.
Also, like I mentioned last week, I love May because it's my birthday month and also just because everything really starts to come alive in May. The flowers are blooming, the trees are (finally!) green...and it's just an awesome time to be alive. And to sit on front porches. And soak in fresh starts. So leading up to my birthday, we thought it would be fun to give one of my favorite things away each week until the big day! This week we're going to kick it off with a no-brainer: Starbucks of course! You don't have to have been around the blog long to know my love of the green mermaid! :) But this time it's for something a little different than my usual grande non-fat latte. You see, Starbucks just came out with these lemon cake pops. And I had one (ok, ok...TWO!) the other day...and they pretty much rocked my world!
So here's the deal! Just leave us a note in the comment box below & we're going to pick one lucky winner on Friday to win a $25 gift card to Starbucks....or approximately 12 and a half lemon cake pops! I'm just sayin. And...GO!!
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!!
Today I am really excited to get to tell you guys about two places that we'll be speaking this year, one of them coming up later this month!
First on April 26-27th, the incredible Liz & Ryan- who just have such HUGE hearts for marriage & people living Amazing lives together- have put together this 2-day FREE webinar where you can hear from six different couples how they juggle it all & keep their marriages first. We are SO honored just to be on that list of couples that we love so much! Our video goes live at 11am on the 27th & we'll be hopping on there to live chat with everyone as it plays. But really, you should just plan to listen to the whole thing over both days to hear everyone's stories & advice. I know we will be!
Like I said, it's absolutely FREE to listen to the webinar live! You'll just need to head over HERE to get registered beforehand. But if you can't listen to the whole thing (or just know that you're going to want to be able to listen to it again afterwards), from now until April 25th you can grab your copy of the whole webinar for almost half off at $49 (normally $89). And when you grab your copy by then that will also get you Liz & Ryan's Cozy Date Night Guide, the Amazing Life Together ebook & The Breakfast in Bed Guide. It's a pretty sweet deal! So make sure you head over & check it all out!
One of the other places that we'll be speaking this year, is that the incredible Skip Cohen asked us to teach for 2 days at his new Skip Cohen University this August 11-14th in Chicago!! We will be teaching the same thing on both Monday & Tuesday to two different groups of 20. The space is incredibly limited & from what I hear a lot of the seats are already filling up with people who were already registered. So if you're thinking about coming, definitely get on this soon! On our two days, we will be going through some of the trickiest parts of a wedding day, giving practical & technical tips, but also focusing on the deeper Why that each of us is called to pursue as a photographer. Then we'll take that storytelling & show you how that can become one of your most powerful marketing tools.
There are going to be a ton of other amazing speakers presenting over the three days & it's just shaping up to be an incredible time! We hope we'll get to see you there! To find out more info, just click HERE!
Whew! Ok, so we don't want this post to be just all announcements, so we decided to throw in a little contest just for fun! I saw that a lot of you are planning your own Spring redecorating projects, so leave us a comment saying hi & we'll pick one winner to have their choice of $25 to Pottery Barn or Home Depot!! We'll announce the winner on Friday, so get to it! And....GO!!