Category: The Latest  |  View all recent posts

Thu. Jun 26, 2014 by Mary    The Latest

The Luxe Brand Giveaway!!

Our dear friend Jane Johnson is what you would call the triple threat. Not only is she an incredibly savvy business woman and amazingly talented photographer, she is also an insanely talented designer to boot! When you add in the fact that she's drop dead gorgeous, well if I didn't love her just so darn much I would probably hate her! :)

Well, to add on to all of that amazingness, Jane has just launched her latest project, The Luxe Brand, which offers absolutely stunning brand solutions for photographers and small business owners on everything from websites with matching blog designs to paper, packaging, and pricing folios. It's basically the whole package of pretty!

My absolute favorite part about this, is that if you are someone who is finding yourself in a place where your current brand is holding you back or keeping you from taking it to the next could have a new brand polished and launched by the weekend! With the height of booking season upon us, what we've been telling all the photographers who are meeting with us is that there is absolutely NO time to waste in putting your best foot forward. You have maybe just a couple of minutes (seconds?) to make an impression on a potential bride. And if she doesn't like what she's seeing right away, then she'll be on to the next site! So the decisions we are making now will affect our whole calendar of bookings next year! And now with something like the Luxe Brand, there is absolutely no excuse not to bump up your branding!

**Now for the best part of all! Jane has so graciously & incredibly generously agreed to give away one of her gorgeous blog designs (your choice!) away to one of our lucky readers! You can scroll through some of our favorites below, head over to the site HERE to check them all out & then get entered to win below! To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment saying hi in the comment box below! Will will pick & announce the winner early next week! And...GO!!

Wed. Jun 25, 2014 by Mary    The Latest

J&M The Newsletter!!

Our latest newsletter is about to go out all about "5 Tips for More Natural Poses"!! To be sure to get all of our FREE J&M newsletters packed full of tips & inspiration, be sure to get signed up by clicking on the "receive our email newsletter" at the bottom of this post!

Mon. Jun 16, 2014 by Mary    The Latest

The Two Year Anniversary of The Guide!!

Wow! I can't believe it, but it has been two years now since we wrote The Guide!

As we are now currently hard at work on our brand new Lighting Guide, I can remember exactly what a labor of love it was! The Guide was born out of the frustration and all of the mistakes we made when we were first starting our business, trying to build momentum by doing what everyone said we were "supposed" to do. And how that just. wasn't. working. It took us being in the grit of it, taking a really hard look at what actually worked and what didn't, and being willing to take the risk to do the opposite of what everyone else at the time was doing. It took us trusting our gut, and following our intuition, innovating, and developing strategies that didn't exist yet, but ones that aligned with the kind of business we wanted to have. A remarkable one. An incredibly successful one. But most importantly, a business fueled by heart.

The Guide is the step by step instruction manual for how we did just that.

How we went from what we call the "Job Interview Days" of our business (described below) to building something we are so proud of: a dream of a business that more than supports our little family & takes us all over the world while doing it!

In the past 24 months, we have been completely blown away by the hundreds & hundreds of copies of The Guide that we've seen go out. But more so, we have blown away by the emails that we get after. Stories of businesses turned around. Of bookings increasing 300%. Of people who were ready to give up, but had new life breathed into them. That makes every hour of writer's block, re-writes, and digging deeper to be honest about the struggle worth it. WAY more than worth it.

So, in honor of the Two-Year Anniversary, we wanted to do something to celebrate! And to make it possible to get copies of The Guide in more hands who might need it. So for TODAY ONLY, we are running an anniversary special where you can grab your copy for 50% off!! That's the lowest price we've ever done & it ends tonight so be sure to jump on it!

An excerpt from The Guide on "The Job Interview Days"

"It was February of 2005, and we were on our way to yet another client meeting.

The sample albums had been packed. The gift had been wrapped , complete with a brand new box that we had just spray painted earlier that day in our drive way. So it was now a rich shade of chocolate brown...or, y’know, whatever Krylon’s version of chocolate brown was that year. And the ribbon was tied in our signature teal. Bought for $5 a roll earlier that week at our local craft store.I mustered up every ounce of courage & faith I could find. And we walked out the door. Together.

When we got to the couple’s house, we passed another photographer on his way out of just finishing up a meeting. We danced a sideways shuffle down the narrow walkway, as all three of us did everything we could to avoid eye contact. And as we rang the door bell holding our bags of sample albums, I couldn’t help but feel like the vacuum salesman. Readying myself to dump dirt on their floor. Instantly, my only very recently mustered courage & faith deflated. Like a Thanksgiving float, speared by a stray dart gun. They deflated. And right then I knew: this meeting was over before it had even begun.

We sat at their dining room table over stacks of wedding magazines and one “my dream day” binder, and made awkward chit chat. As my mouth grew dryer I silently prayed for a glass of water, but none was ever offered. And when we tried to find out something, anything, that we might have in common they just asked for our price list. Or more to the point, and what it felt like at the time....our resume.They were in the driver’s seat. The interviewer. The judge and jury of our fate. And we, well we....were in the hot seat. As we sat there waiting for our verdict, I couldn’t help but thinking: this couple is NEVER going to book with us. Right? Who among us hasn’t spent two hours getting ready for a meeting, only to be two minutes in to realize that this couple is never going to book with you? And yet, you still find yourself praying that they will. Because you just need to make rent that month. Your dog (or even better, your children!) have gotten accustomed to having food. And as you watch them scan that right column of numbers, adding and comparing you apples to apples with every other photographer they’ve met with that week without ever once asking to look at one of your images, you silently ask yourself if what it is to be living the dream.

The first two years of our business are what we refer to as the job interview days of our business. These were the days of feeling like the traveling vacuum salesmen, of driving out to meet at the couples’ houses only to come back home empty-handed & empty-hearted, and finding ourselves sinking further and further from the dream. During this time with the job interview days of our business, we were booking maybe 1 in 5, or on a really good streak maybe 1 in 3, of the couples we were meeting with. And that’s a really terrible booking rate. Because it meant for the 4 out of 5 couples we were meeting with- or 80% of our resources, our time, our money, our energy, how we felt about ourselves- 80% of that was being wasted. More than that, we just started to feel really bad about ourselves.
This wasn’t life unordinary. The road less traveled. This was every cheesy wedding photographer in every movie ever made. And we started to ask ourselves is this working anymore.

Is it worth it any more?"

What is The Guide?
The Guide is over 50 pages of new ideas, images, and information that breaks out step by step how we went from barely booking in our business, to actually getting to pick & choose our entire calendar's worth of couples. We'll talk about how we got our names out there, what we did to build up momentum when we were just getting started, and everything that we do to give potential couples the ability to decide that we are absolutely the photographers that they have to have with them on the wedding day....or not. And why either one of those outcomes is a win. Just some of the features that The Guide includes are things like our ideal client profile: what we look for in our clients. the top 5 red flags to look for when filtering, 10 easy ways to create more connection on your site, meetings in a box: 4 complete plans for how to set the room, what to serve & booking gifts depending on your brand, the three things we always say in the course of a meeting that allow couples to build the right package for them without ever once resorting to high pressure sales, 3 clauses you should always have in your contract to protect your bookings, our Lexus Theory of Pricing, and our complete a la carte pricing menu with all of our current prices included & more!

***Also, on a completely separate note! We are going to be sending out our next newsletter today all about 5 tips to make your flash look more natural! We have only opened up 150 more spots on our newsletter & as soon as we hit that we're going to send it out. So be sure to be among the first to sign up (by clicking on the "receive our newsletter" button at the bottom of this post!) so you don't miss it! And...GO!!

Thu. Jun 12, 2014 by Mary    The Latest

Profoto and J&M Giveaway!!

Ahhh we are SO excited about this!! Profoto has just announced a killer contest to go along with our "Walk Through a Wedding w/ Justin & Mary" that will be releasing through the rest of the year!! And they are giving away such amazing, AMAZING stuff....I seriously wish we could enter! :) And the best news, is that it's really simple to enter!

Basically, all you have to do each month is watch the video that they've chosen for the contest (for example the first one is the "First Kiss" video) and then submit a picture based on what we've taught you. Then just make sure you share it with all your friends, because the three images that get the most votes each month will get all those killer prizes! That's it!

But wait, there's MORE! :) Each month's first place winner will automatically be entered in the Grand Prize running and at the end of the year, we are going to be part of a panel that will pick one lucky entry to be the top winner. Think of it like American Idol, but for photography! :) (I'll definitely be the Paula....wait, she's not even on that show anymore is she?!) And that person is going to get a B1 kit, a soft light set up, and an air remote!

To enter, all you have to do is head over HERE & get signed up! Also, if you haven't gotten to catch up on all the videos yet, you can find them by going HERE! They are really simple, really helpful videos that show you in three minutes or less what we would do in a series of tricky lighting situations on a wedding day. So if bad light & flash is something that has been scaring you then they are such a great place to start for really getting a handle on it! And they are all FREE to watch!

And if you're ready for something more hands on & in depth, we have our upcoming J&M Lighting Intensive coming to Seattle on July 8th or our Walk Through a Wedding in Nantucket on August 20-21 {only FIVE spots left!!} We just had our DC workshop on Tuesday & here is what some of the attendees had to say!

"This is so much more than a how to use your flash when light sucks kind of class. It goes deep into why we do what we do and how to get a final product that truly represents our clients. It will CHANGE you as a photographer, even on how to use natural light. GASP! I know! I recommend this for every photographer, whether you are a newbie or a seasoned photographer" -Elizabeth Fogarty

"Justin and Mary, Thank you so much for bringing your Lighting Intensive Workshop to DC! Of any course I've ever taken in lighting, especially in regards to off-camera lighting set-ups, your methods were by far the most relevant and made me more comfortable with difficult scenarios than I have ever been previously. Thank you for giving me the knowledge necessary to walk into any lighting situation and feel confident that I will be able to serve my clients well by providing them with beautiful images no matter how much (or how little) natural light is pouring into the room. Most of all, I appreciate how you have transformed my thought process and really encouraged me to consider "why" I approach light and my subjects a certain way rather than being so focused on "how." I am so grateful for your eagerness to educate, and mostly for your friendship and encouraging hearts!" - Nikki Santerre

Mon. May 26, 2014 by Mary    The Latest

Happy Memorial Day!!

Happy Monday!

I hope you are all off having an amazing Memorial Day weekend! Justin & I are both SO thankful for all of the incredible men & women who serve & sacrifice so that we can all be free to chase these dreams of ours and see beauty in the place of fear. We know and believe that freedom is not by any means free and that we add in our voices to the call that we only live in the home of the free because of the brave. And we are thankful for that everyday, but especially today!

We were lucky enough to spend this Memorial weekend photographing a wedding that gave tons of honor to those in the service. And we can't wait to share Rene & John's amazing day soon!


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