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Sun. Feb 16, 2014 by Mary    Portraits

Meet: Christy & Tsone

Last week Tsone came down from Canada to attend our Walk Through a Wedding workshop (it STILL blows my mind how far people have traveled in for these workshops! At this last one, we had folks from Canada, California, Atlanta, Chicago, Michigan, Maryland, Pittsburgh, and of course CT!!). And since he was coming all this way, he decided to go ahead & make a whole trip out of it with his amazing girlfriend Christy, including hiring us to do a couple's shoot of them all around Yale!

Now let me tell you, on the day of our shoot it was COLD! Coooooold! It was like Antartica wrapped in an igloo wrapped in an ice cream sundae. Cold! Like the kind of cold where you can't feel your fingers to push the shutter anymore cold. But these guys & they're amazing hearts just smiled right through it. And when it got too cold to cuddle, they would bust out some killer dance moves to warm back up! So I mean c'mon, how are you NOT going to shoot your heart out for two people like that?!

Christy & Tsone, it was truly an honor meeting you both. This thing that we do for a living has trained us to observe very quickly when a couple just fits, when everything about them works, when they will be one of the truly great couples of our time that inspires everyone around them. The way you help one another, the way you love one another, the way you take care of one another. That's what you guys are. I see it in you. And if/when the day comes that you two decide to get married....I am totally calling DIBS on the wedding!! :) :)

Love love love you guys!
xo
M:)















































Fri. Aug 16, 2013 by Justin    Life with J&M

Get REAL.

Something really big happens when we get out from behind our desks and our iPhones, our Instagram apps and the back end of our blogs.

We realize that our words and our choices have power.

We realize that the things that we choose to share or not to share, and the way that we go about sharing them....matters.

Over the past few days of being out in Chicago & Columbus, of being able to get out from behind my computer screen and actually sit and look people in the eye, I randomly found myself in a bunch of different conversations (five to be exact) that really all boiled down to one thing. It sort of became the overarching theme of the trip and made it really clear that this is on the hearts of a lot of people right now. That theme that I was hearing across all five of those conversations was basically: We're all so tired of looking to people and following people who just make us feel bad about our own lives.

Marketing experts will tell us that there are two really basic types of marketing that people use to promote themselves: Aspirational & Relational.

The first one says, look at ME! Look at this amazing life that I have where everything is perfect. My business is perfect, my house is perfect, my hair is perfect, my clothes are perfect, my vacations are perfect, my dog is perfect, and my marriage is most definitely perfect. And while we're at it, let me tell you about much I charge for everything, how much I can afford to spend on everything, and how many zeros line up behind my income at the end of the year. Because the more I can make my life seem perfect, the more I can make my business seem wildly successful....the more you're going to want to be like me, follow me, and invest in me to show you how to do it too.

It's exhausting.

Just writing that paragraph was exhausting. Let alone trying to live it.




And yet, so many leaders are getting pulled right into that trap because it feels like it works. People, especially new people, want to hear about the good stuff. They want to hear that this scary new adventure they are embarking on can actually work out & that they too can become a HUGE success in it. Right in the beginning, we don't necessarily want to hear about all the hard work, the tough times, and the "it takes time" to make it happen. We want to hear from the people who became wildly successful and who did it the FASTEST. Because in the world of new photographers (business owners, writers, and well, human beings) fast & wildly successful will always win out over struggle and it took time.

I know because I've been one of those new photographers myself. And that was exactly what I was looking for in the people I looked up to too.

So leaders become tempted. They know that the perfect stuff gets them followers. They know that talking about how much they make & charge for stuff will make people ask "Oh what would {fill in the blank, photographer I look up to do}?" And they know that will make people sign up to learn from them too. In short, the aspirational model of marketing & leadership says "hey, I know what's working." But it doesn't stop long enough to ask, "ok, but SHOULD it?"

I get it. It is really tempting to want to make people listen to you quickly and to build up a huge following as fast as you can. But the fact is, the world needs better leaders than that. We need leaders who are willing to sit across from people. To look them in the eyes and see how much pain & hurt is behind them. To see that these are people who are facing real, hard struggles. And that talking about designer sunglasses, fancy vacations, or how many figures are in our income does nothing to help that.

We need leaders who are willing to minister. To counsel. To serve. To help close over and stitch up the gaping heart wounds of people whose dreams are disintegrating right before their very eyes. We need leaders who are willing to get REAL-ational, not aspirational. To take the good with the bad. To be honest about the struggle, and talk more about the things that might actually help people than the things they hope will impress people.

And in the end, we need to be willing to sacrifice a following... if it means what we did, was actually help people.

Let's do this,
M

***And because this topic was really important to me & close to my heart, I wanted to do something to make sure that as many people as possible got to read it. I get it, I know life is super busy right now & it's not possible to click over and read every post. And I also know that a contest always seems to grab some good attention. :) But the same time, I wanted to make this a contest that COUNTS. And a $25 Starbucks card for leaving a comment just didn't seem to cut it on something as important as this. Instead, we wanted to do something that would help us all get closer to the kind of leadership we talked about above. So here's the deal: leave us a comment below telling us how you're going to lift up just one other person in your area. That you're going to take them out to coffee or set up a shoot with them or just send an email/give them a call to encourage them & let them know you're thinking about them. And then in turn for our part, we're going to pick one of you guys to win a free Mentoring Session + Mini Headshot session with us for free (a $750 value). So there it is. Let's do this. And.....GO!!











Sun. Aug 11, 2013 by Mary    Engagements

Meet: Indhu & Greg

Happy Monday friends!

Yesterday we flew out to Chicago after an amazing wedding in Maine, to head to Skip Cohen University. We are going to be teaching two full days of "Wedding 202" out here, which is basically all of the more advanced stuff we've learned over time to have or to be able to do to deal with all of the tricky situations that pop up during a wedding. We have a great group and we are really excited about it, but of course a little nervous too! So wish us luck!

But before we head off to start teaching, I definitely had to share these guys with you! We met up with Indhu & Greg while we were down in Baltimore & DC last week to finally get to meet them and do their engagement shoot all around Georgetown! We are going to be doing their Biltmore & botanical gardens wedding down in Miami this November, but so far we had only met via Skype. So we couldn't wait to hang out with them in person!

And let me tell you, they are even more amazing in person! First of all when we got there, they had prepared this whole spread with wine and cheese and honey, peach & goat cheese crostinins. How awesome is that? In addition to getting ready for their shoot, they made the time to do all that for us. I'm telling you, we have the best clients on the PLANET! And then, there was just how great these two are together. There is just a naturalness between them that you can't pose, you can only hope to capture. A genuine love and softness in the way that he takes care of her, and she in turn looks out for him. They were an absolute dream to photograph, because wherever we were and whatever we had them do there was always just....love.

Indhu & Greg, we LOVED getting to meet you! And it makes us all the more excited to be there for the whole weekend with you in November. It is an honor to now call you guys friends! (And of course, a HUGE thanks goes out to the amazing Belle from B. Belle Events for bringing us all together. We love you Belle!)

So sit back, relax & enjoy as you....

Meet: Indhu & Greg























































Wed. Jul 31, 2013 by Mary    The Latest

Speaking: Skip Cohen U & Pursuit 31 Conference

Good morning & Happy Wednesday friends!!

I absolutely can't believe how quickly Summer is flying by & that this is the last day of July (seriously, when did that happen??) And if it weren't for the fact that we still have some really exciting things coming up over the next few months, I think I would be really sad to say goodbye to July. But, we DO have some really exciting things coming up....so I say bring on the fun! :)

The first one will be next week when we head back up to Maine for a wedding and then out to Chicago for Skip Cohen University on August 11-14!! We are getting SO excited for this trip & to meet all of the attendees. We first got to experience SCU last year when we were guest presenters on the married photographers panel. And this year we are so honored to be back there teaching for two days with an abridged version of our Walk Through a Wedding workshop (we'll be teaching two different groups, so each group gets us for a day). This is going to be a condensed version of all the highlights of our best tips for lighting, posing, dealing with the trouble spots on a wedding day, post-processing, marketing & more! It's going to be an amazing (and intense in the best way possible!) jam-packed day of learning, and we are SO excited to have Profoto on board to loan us some of their amazing lights for you guys to play with. If you've been thinking about making it to a Walk Through workshop but haven't been able to swing the trip East or the full price of the workshop, this is an awesome way to get the highlights of it in addition to learning from some other AMAZING instructors.

If you are thinking about coming, we would LOVE to see you there! Last year's group was so incredible because the attendance is extremely limited which means everybody gets a chance to know each other and the students & teachers have a lot of time to hang out one on one. As you guys probably know, there is nothing that can replace learning from somebody in person when you can see it & try it for yourself. No online video or blog post can ever replace that! If you want to join us, be sure to email SCU@mei500.com after you sign up and mention the code "Marantz"...that will get you $50 off your seat! And if you aren't able to cover the whole seat right now, you can sign up using the new "Save Me a Seat" program that will spread it out until after the program to October! So there's really no reason not to make this happen! You can check everything out by going HERE.



And then of course the other super exciting thing we have coming up in the Fall is the Pursuit 31 Conference in Rome, Georgia! If you've been reading along on this blog for a while, you know how much this conference rocked me. To the core. I got the chance to speak there last year and am so excited to get to speak again, but really just going is such a HUGE blessing. I already knew that I was so lucky to get to speak alongside such an incredible line up of talented and good hearted women, and my excitement level just TRIPLED (if that was even possible!) when I found out that one of the people I look up to most in the world, Mr. Bob Goff, has just been added to the line up. Bob wrote the book Love Does (which I LOVE) and I have been following him ever since I read it. I just love what he stands for and putting action behind our faith and words. So I am beyond thrilled to be able to sit in the audience and learn from him. And ok, ok....probably very dorkily ask for an Instagram picture with him. Repeat after me: I will play it cool. I will play it cool.

Trust me, you guys do NOT want to miss this! I think there might still be a few seats available (I know that they had sold out at one point, but I think they were able to work with the venue to open up a few more spots), so be sure to jump on grabbing your seat ASAP if you still can! And I never use words like ASAP, so you know I must mean business! :)





And as an extra bonus, I think this post deserves a contest!! Just leave us a comment in the box below & we're going to pick one lucky winner to receive your very own copy of Bob's book Love Does. And....GO!!

And a HUGE congrats to the winner of our $50 Adorama gift card giveaway....Ms. Ahren Foster!!!











Wed. Jul 10, 2013 by Mary    The Latest

Speaking: Skip Cohen University

Happy Wednesday friends!

Today we are continuing our European adventures & having the best time. Yesterday as we were driving to Nice & the French Riviera, we couldn't help talking about all the amazing trips we've gotten to do so far this year...and it's only July! Besides the What's Next Tour that took us all over the country, we've also had trips to Santa Barbara, Amsterdam, Vegas, Santo Domingo, and Nantucket just to name a few. In short, it's been an awesome (albeit crazy!!) year!

The fun won't be ending after this trip either, as we have a couple of back to back trips to Maine coming up when we get home as well as a trip out to the midwest on August 8-11 for Skip Cohen University in Chicago! We are getting SO excited for this trip & to meet all of the attendees. We first got to experience SCU last year when we were guest presenters on the married photographers panel. And this year we are so honored to be back there teaching for two days with an abridged version of our Walk Through a Wedding workshop (we'll be teaching two different groups, so each group gets us for a day).

If you are thinking about coming, we would LOVE to see you there! Last year's group was so amazing because the attendance is extremely limited which means everybody gets a chance to know each other and the students & teachers have a lot of time to hang out one on one. And there is nothing like learning something from somebody in person, when you can see it & try it for yourself. No online video or blog post can ever replace that. If you're thinking about coming, be sure to email SCU@mei500.com after you sign up and mention the code "Marantz"...that will get you $50 off your seat! And if you aren't able to cover the whole seat right now, you can sign up using the new "Save Me a Seat" program that will spread it out until after the program to October! You can check everything out by going HERE.

Hope to see you there!
M:)












 
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