Today we are out in San Francisco teaching our next to last J&M Lighting Intensive of the year (the LAST one of the year takes place on Nov 8th in CT, so be sure to grab your spot if you haven't yet)!! But we just wanted to hop on real quick to introduce you to the absolutely gorgeous Genevieve & Elliot. We got together with these guys to do their engagement shoot all around the Yale campus. These two met while in school at Brown (when they both happened to join a certain recreational league involving beer & ping pong :) So Yale made for the perfect backdrop! We can't wait for their big day in December, when we'll be shooting their wedding at the stunning De Seversky Mansion. But until then you can get to know them through their pictures as you.....
When I was a kid and went trick or treating, it was all about the Nerds.
The pink and purple mixed pack to be precise.
But when I was rating the neighborhood houses on their level of cool, a Gold Standard rating was always given out if that family gave out Nerds.
Now that I am older and wiser and my tastes have refined, I realize that the pumpkin shaped Reese's is really where it's at.
It's chocolate. It's peanut butter.
And I don't know....there's just something about it being molded into the shape of something that I swear just makes it better!
So tell me! What's your gold standard favorite Halloween candy? Let us know in the comment box below and ONE lucky winner is going to get a personalized Halloween care kit from yours truly full of all my favorite goodies! And....GO!!
**How much do I LOVE this girl?? Last week I referenced Katelyn's "Big List" and how it's rocking my world. Today we are SO lucky to have the amazing Katelyn James herself here to tell you all about it!
Let me start by saying that if you’re reading this and you frequent this blog often, you are in the right place!! I have learned so much from this incredible duo throughout my last four years in business and I’m SO grateful for their giving hearts! I’ve watched their every move (it’s not as creepy as it sounds) the last several years in hopes that if I adopt some of their business ideas and strategies, my business would grow… and it has…. Tremendously. Again, I’m grateful. Justin and Mary have been a huge part of my growth and I consider them role models in the industry. Now that you know how much I adore them, you can imagine my SHOCK when Mary asked me to write about this topic!! What an honor!! I’m so excited to be here!
Mary and I attended the Pursuit 31 conference together a few weeks ago and I had the privilege of teaching an Office Management class. I had originally thought to myself “goodness, 45 minutes of JUST office talk?! How boring!” Well, it turns out that there is actually A LOT to talk about when it comes to running a well organized office. I spoke about everything from to-do lists to file folders to client galleries and I STILL ran out of time!
The comforting aspect about that seminar was that I realized I’m not the only one that struggles with getting stuff DONE! As small business owners, we have to have a plan of attack when it comes to the nitty gritty details of our business!! Our to-do lists are never ending, we’re always running out of time and if you’re like I was last year, I felt like I was dropping the ball left and right. I realized a year ago that I needed a system. Actually, I needed MANY systems to keep my business flowing. I’m a one woman show. I don’t have interns or assistants or office managers… I wear all of those hats and so I had to come up with a game plan!
After making a detailed list of everything that I didn’t do well in 2011, I found that I had 3 areas that really needed some help! Here were my problem areas:
1. Multiple basic tasks were being forgotten on a monthly basis
2. My post processing was delayed because of my lack of motivation to cull images.
3. I lacked an effective “To-do” list strategy
These all seem like such SIMPLE issues. However, these 3 simple issues were becoming detrimental to my business and I needed a solution! I needed to be able to crank out jobs, stay on top of my monthly tasks and have a To-Do list that kept me straight on a daily basis! This is what I came up with:
1. Monthly Duty Days Every month I was struggling to keep up with the following: Paying the mortgage on time, filing sales tax, mailing client gifts, blogging my monthly goals, keeping a blog calendar, etc. I also realized that there were things that I DREADED when it came to the end of the year. Mileage logs and expense records had become the death of me!! I realized it would be much easier if I tackled these duties month by month instead of once at the end of the year. So, I created MONTHLY DUTY DAYS. This sounds so elementary but it works! On the first of EVERY month, I set aside 2 hours to do the following:
- File sales tax
- Log the previous month’s mileage
- Record and categorize expenses from the previous month
- Mail client gifts for the upcoming month
- Blog a “Goals” post for the new month
- Create a blog calendar for the upcoming month and schedule posts
- Pay the mortgage
- Give my puppy his heartworm pill
- Pay off the credit card
If I’m having a good day, these items can all be accomplished in two hours or so. Not bad considering all that you’re accomplishing. My Monthly Duty Days allow me to start each month off on a great foot!!
2. Cull during imports I was really struggling with being motivated to cull my images after they had imported. I really didn’t think their was a “fix” for this but then I realized why I wasn’t motivated! I didn’t want to cull and scan back through these images because I had already seen them once as they were importing! So they weren’t exciting anymore! So, this was my solution to the problem, I started culling WHILE the images were importing. I started staying engaged during the culling process because I hadn’t seen my shots yet! I was eager to see what I captured and so I trained myself to cull while I viewed my images for the first time! Simple fix? Yes! But it works!
3. The “Big List” This is going to sound crazy but I spent weeks, maybe even MONTHS trying to fall in love with multiple personal organization APPS on my iPhone! I thought, “Katelyn, it’s the 21st century, you should keep your to-do lists on your phone, afterall, you PAID for these APPS!”. Well, months went by and my to-do list was a disaster! I finally realized that a good ol’ notebook was all I really needed! I bought a plain, spiral notebook and I started making “The Big List”. Basically, I have an on going master list of everything that needs to be done within my business. I list everything from the MASSIVE projects to the single emails I need to send. Everything I need to accomplish is on that list. However, I can’t accomplish the whole list in one day and so I place a post-it note on top of the big list and I write out what I could realistically accomplish THAT day. Once the day is over, I mark off what I accomplished from the master list and I throw that day’s post-it note away. I love this because not only do I have a master list of all that needs to be done, I keep every list so now I can look back and see ALL that has already been accomplished the year as well!
I realize these are such elementary solutions to my office management issues. However, what matters is they work and I’m constantly accomplishing tasks because of them!! You can read more about my other office organization solutions HERE! I hope this was helpful and here’s to an organized, efficient office where STUFF GETS DONE!!!
***Katelyn is a phenomenal photographer, blogger, speaker and industry leader based out of Richmond, VA. If you guys aren't following her yet, you seriously have to get on that! :) She is ahhh-mazing!
When the ribbons & bows were tied and the flowers were fastened in her hair, she thought about him. When the seconds turned into minutes and the hour was fast upon them, she thought about him. She thought about the years together, and the years ahead. About all the laughs that had been laughed, and the laughter that was still to be. She thought about their inside jokes, the punchlines that don't even need to be spoken, and the space in the curve of his hand where hers just always....fits. She thought about the future, she thought about the past. And she thought about this very moment right now. And then she finally realized what they all have in common. That when she thinks about all the best things that have happened in her life...she thinks about him.
When the door was opened and the footsteps fell, he thought about her. When the seconds turned into hours and minutes dragged on for what felt like eternity, he thought about her. He thought about the years together, and the years ahead. About all quiet smiles that had been shared, and the smiles that were still yet to be. He thought about how she would look when he finally saw her, and the words that don't even need to be spoken. And how the space between them would just disappear, because his life with her always just....fits. For just a second he didn't think about the future, or think about the past. He just focused on this very moment right here. Because he already knew, that what all their days together would have in common was this and the happiness he felt. And when he thought about his whole lifetime....he thought about her.
Married: Jenn & Mark
Jenn & Mark were married on a day that ranged from bright sunshine to full out rain, and every possibility in between. But just like the two people I knew them to be, they basked in the sunshine, and danced in the rain. And surrounded by all the people they love most in this world, they kicked off a life together right. With love and laughter and celebrating come what may. Jenn is actually one half of the wedding blogging duo, The Weddingistas, along with her best friend and Maid of Honor Becky. So there was no doubt in my mind that this wedding was going to be one for the record books, and these guys did not disappoint. No detail was overlooked, and yet not a single thing was added that didn't feel like Jenn & Mark. That is a hard task to pull off indeed, and these guys did it flawlessly. J&M, you are our initial soul mates, our foodie friends, and two of the coolest people we've ever met. There are no words to thank you for the honor of having us there with you on Day 1. My hope is that you will love like this through all the days ahead.....feeding each other, laughing at inside jokes where only you two know the punchlines, and always dancing in the rain.