The past couple of days we've been putting together a general schedule for how our J&M LIVE Chat is going to go and what all we're going to cover, so today we wanted to share that with you! We would love for you to give it a look over and then leave us a note in the comment box with 1) anything you think we've missed that you'd really love to see covered, 2) anything in particular you'd want us to talk about under the topics already listed/questions you have or 3) if you don't have anything to add, just a note to say hi! And to tell us that we're not completely crazy for doing this! :) :)
You can see that we're going to be covering a TON of material in a very short amount of time, so we won't be going into anything like the detail that we do in Walk Through. But hopefully it will still be of help to someone out there! Hopefully!!
**We were hearing from some of you that you'll be shooting on Saturday, so we did a poll on our J&M facebook page to see if we should change the day and the results ended up being almost dead even. So what we're going to do is keep it on this Saturday Dec 3rd, but try to do a replay on Sunday. Assuming we can actually figure out how to record this time. Ah, technology! :)
I mean, there must have been a time when it was shiny & new. Solid black, with oiled up hinges and a door that swung open never making a noise. Maybe it was pristine, not a single spot of ash or soot on it. Maybe it was the centerpiece of the entire room. Maybe it came with a red bow. But as for me, and the long hallway of my memory, it was always an old wood stove.
It stood alone in the corner, gray with weary. Four clawed legs digging in to the plywood floor. It was squat, with one lone chamber for firewood. And a smokestack running northward through the ceiling, heaven bound. The handle was rusty and burned into place. So I would wrap my little fingers, clothed in the protection of his giant work glove, around the spiraled wire metal. And pull.
Inside, an orchestra of embers burned in four part harmony. They were enchanting. Intoxicating. And terrifying all at once. As the wind whistled at the door, I reached for the old wood stack beside me and threw another log on the fire. And that's when the sparks flew.
The dry kindling would catch fire immediately, and send orange flames shooting up the chimney and streaking out across the ceiling above. They would skip across the sagging sheetrock and lick at the edges of the pink puffs of insulation hanging down. For seconds that felt like centuries, they danced at the edge of ruin. And then just like that, it was over. The fire would return to its place. The creaky metal door would be sealed shut. The gloves would come off....and life would go on again.
For every summer growing up that I can remember, I got paid ten cents a piece to help stack wood (even back then I was entrepreneurial). And every winter, I would help keep the fire burning. I suppose I thought I had it pretty rough back then, and maybe, just maybe...we did. But looking back now. I also know it taught me something. A lot of somethings. About hard work. Starting with what you've got, and building from there. And continuing to throw fuel on the fire...even when it's terrifying.
This weekend, in an example of life coming full circle, my dad came to visit and brought with him a load of firewood. And I realized how much life had changed. See, this would be wood for a fire not because we needed the heat to stay warm, but because it's pretty to look at. The fireplace was clean and decorated, without a spot of ash or ember to be seen. And the ceilings were all secure in their rightful places.
As we stacked the wood I told him, just so he'd know, that my day rate had gone up considerably. And he said that was alright, because so had his. So we decided to call it even. Except for this pair of antique hooks that he gave me, which he had used when he first went to work in the woods at twelve years old. Twelve years old when he started cutting trees, learning how to run a dozer, and working full time to help support his family. And it was right about then that I realized....maybe, just maybe, I didn't have it so rough after all.
Because there was someone there throwing fuel on the fire long before I did.
They went to the same college. But that's not really where the story begins. Because even though Wagner is small school and they ran in all the same circles, Francie & Chris never once met during their time on campus. For all that time, they were just two people crossing paths. They went to the same gym. Worked out on the same machines. Maybe even watched the same Friends re-runs playing on the gym tv. But that's not where their story begins either. Because for all their time together, for all the chances fate had to play its hand, it wasn't until after they had graduated that they would finally meet. On a charity 5k run.
They had each decided to run in honor of a mutual friend, who had lost his dad in the 9/11 attacks. And as they laced up their shoes that day and took a look around at the team that had assembled, Francie took extra note of her friend's good looking & friendly roommate. But assumed she would never see him again. All the while, and little did she know, she had been seeing him for years. A chance celebration party a week later brought them together again, and that turned into dinner which made it an official date. Fourteen months later they were engaged in the middle of that same restaurant to cheers from everyone in the room. And now they are planning a wedding and a life together. Which when you think about it, is really not too shabby....
For two people who were just crossing paths. :)
Meet: Francie & Chris
We got together with these guys last weekend to shoot all around their new town of Chatham, starting in the very awesome Chatham train station, and to get to know them a little more. And after just a few hours together, it's pretty safe to say we had fallen as in love with them as they have each other. And I found myself being very thankful that these guys like running way more than I do. Because it brought them together. And that brought them to us. So, hey, maybe running is not so bad after all. :) F&C, we had an absolute blast with you guys, and we can't wait for the big day in June. Especially if there are more cannolis!
And thanks for stopping by! If you're looking to sign up for the next Walk Through, you're in the right place my friend. It's like Serendipity....or one of those other John Cusack movies. Preferably involving a boom box. Either way.....we're psyched that you're here!
We can't wait to meet you!
**Please note: Due to the limited nature of these tickets, no refunds or exchanges will be available.
What is Walk Through? Walk Through is two full days of what it takes to be a wedding photographer. The first day will be all shooting & walking through each step of the wedding day, as if we were actually shooting it. But y'know, with better vendor meals. We'll cover everything from the getting ready to a dark church to posing the couple to shooting the reception complete with killer details. We start bright & early at our place talking about the "Why." Throughout the first day we cover all of those trouble spots like posing an unruly bridal party, organizing the family shots, off-camera lighting at the church & reception, what to do if you only have 10 minutes for the portraits, and how to have a game plan to shoot the reception details before the get destroyed. We have everything set up to be just like a real wedding, so this is literally a one-stop shop for all those things you struggle with. But we're not done. Then we're going to bring it back on the second day where Justin & I will show you everything (the good, the bad & the ugly) that we got the day before. Then we'll launch into the "business" day side of things with creating a signature style (including how we do all of our post-processing, especially those rich black & whites), brand power, building momentum and all the workflow & systems to back it up. Because we know what you know. That the shooting side of things is just the first part of creating a successful wedding photography business. And we just wanted to make sure you were getting the whole story.
I hope you are all about to spend a warm & fuzzy kind of day, surrounded by good food, family & friends! I hope that you take time to be present and time to be thankful. And just know that as Justin & I make the rounds today, we'll be counting all of you at the top of the list of things that we're so thankful for. Seriously, thank you for coming here to share life with us. To tell us part of your story, to sprinkle a little encouragement, or to just say hi. It means the world to us. And I just want you to know that today & everyday we are so, so thankful for you!
For now, I'll leave you with the big reveal of our Buckles & Burberry board! As you can see, Julia has once again completely outdone herself and I can't wait to see what she does with the real thing. We'll be back at 5am tomorrow when the seats go on sale. I have a feeling this one is going to go fast, so be sure to set your alarm clocks! :) And if you haven't yet, head on over to our J&M facebook page to get the extra discount code!
A very blessed & Happy Thanksgiving to you all!