Monday, December 31, 2007

My 101 in 1001

Ok, so I'm dedicating a whole blog to my 101 in 1001 list. I'll be referring back to it often, so I figured I'd just put up the whole thing. I've already accomplished one of them even though I wasn't planning on launching my list until January 1 or 2008.

"101 in 1001" stands for 101 things to do in 1001 days - which puts the due date as September 27th, 2010. That may seem like a long way off right now, but it'll come fast! If you're making your own 101 in 1001 list, PLEASE let me know! I am excited to check these off as I go and see other accomplish their goals also! Yay for list-ers!

I hope you all have a wonderful New Year and great 2008! I'm so excited about what this year will hold! Here's the list:

1. Print & hang photos in my client proofing area and office - completed 8-11-08
2. Lead or co-host my own workshop
3. Blog every day for a month
4. Get another dog - completed 2-21-08
5. Invent something or create a new product line
6. Shoot an entire wedding in manual mode - completed 2-9-08
7. Take a road trip and stop along the way at cool places to take photos
8. 2nd shoot at a wedding with Dane Sanders – completed 12-28-07!
9. Shoot a wedding on another continent
10. Take another cruise
11. Go to 2 major workshops - completed 8-6-06
12. Get a wedding into a designer
13. Enter some photos in a print competition - completed 1-18-08
14. Speak at a photo convention
15. Read one book per month for 3 months to benefit my business - completed 1-15-08
16. Attend 3 major photography or photo-related conventions
17. Travel to Europe
18. Finalize and implement my branding - completed 8-11-08
19. Take a dance class
20. Write down the systems of my business – create a manual of what I do
21. Win a WPJA award
22. Exchange email with Seth Godin
23. Scout local shooting locations
24. Visit Paul & Jessica in Philadelphia
25. Market myself specifically in the Santa Clarita area. - completed
26. Create a consistent email newsletter
27. Invest in my mutual fund regularly for 6 months.
28. Throw a party - completed 4-2-08
29. Get client TV internet capable - completed
30. Get my phone set up so I can access the internet anywhere on my laptop
31. Organize my office necessities - completed
32. Practice Yoga once a day for a month
33. Trick out my emails – customize and personalize with my brand - completed 9-29-08 -
34. Create and implement a system of networking with coordinators and venues
35. Upgrade to the D3
36. Buy out my parents' investment in my house
37. Purchase and perfect my lighting system
38. Organize my house for maximum business efficiency
39. Go back to Thailand
40. Improve the packaging of my products
41. Go back to Ireland
42. Stay at a luxury resort & go to the spa
43. Develop a menu of favorite dishes to make on an ongoing basis
44. Log 100 miles on my Nike Plus
45. Buy a book for one photographer/client each month for 3 months
46. Get caught up on “The Office”
47. Visit Australia
48. Update/upgrade my website - completed 7-1-08
49. Go snowboarding again
50. Lose down to my goal weight
51. See a musical on Broadway
52. Shoot the cover of a magazine - completed
53. Figure out how to get video on my blog and then post videos - completed
54. Become a Fast Track Founder
55. Go camping with Preston and go on a picnic with him
56. Make enough money so that Preston can quit his day job
57. Book 20-25 weddings each year
58. Begin sending out anniversary cards to past clients
59. Take a carriage ride in Central Park
60. Take a martial arts or self-defense course
61. Become CPR certified
62. Go to an APU Jazz Band concert again
63. Go back to La Super Rica with my sister - completed 2-25-08
64. Be on "Dane’s Photo Minute"
65. Get a wedding published in a Bride Magazine
66. Post on OSP once a week for 3 months
67. Find good legal music to use on slideshows
68. Go to back to Lala’s with my sister
69. Watch 3 classic movies that I’ve never seen in 3 months
70. Audition for a play or musical
71. Direct or co-direct a play or musical again
72. Do a half-marathon
73. Get involved with and contribute photography to the marketing of my church - completed
74. Read a classic literature book I haven't read before
75. Upgrade my 15" laptop
76. Finalize my tax record system.
77. Go on another missions trip with my husband
78. Take photos of my parents and siblings
79. Be referred to as a “Love Cat” by another photographer. - completed
80. Visit a state I haven’t been to yet
81. Visit Monterrey with Preston and see where he lived
82. Have a neighbor over for dinner
83. Watch a sunrise
84. Shoot at Thousand Steps Beach - completed
85. Create an album for my mom and my mother-in-law
86. Run a 10 minute mile for 3 consecutive miles
87. Do 20 consecutive push-ups (the “real” kind)
88. 2nd Shoot for David Jay
89. Go to a photography gallery
90. Get some canvas prints made - completed
91. Try an in-studio viewing after the wedding
92. Refine workflow s
93. 2nd shoot for Melissa Jill - completed 2-9-08!
94. Improve my website search optimization
95. 2nd Shoot for Mike Colon
96. Implement surveys & gather client feedback at numerous points throughout the customer experience
97. 2nd Shoot for Becker
98. Improve our credit score and automate all our bills
99. Finish getting copies of sample albums for all products I offer
100. Keep my email inbox down to 2 emails or less for a month - completed 2-5-08
101. Take my dog to herd classes or agility training.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Have I Mentioned I Love My Life?

This weekend I had the pleasure of shooting with a long time inspiration of mine, Dane Sanders. I was also totally excited to meet Jared Bauman (of shootdotedit and Bauman Photographers) who was also shooting with Dane. How awesome is that?

This was seriously one of the most exciting days yet in my photo career and I'm so grateful and appreciative to them both for letting me tag along - especially Dane since it was his gig to begin with. ;-) It was an absolute blast. And when I wasn't soaking up great info from these guys or carrying gear, I managed to take a shot here and there.

Here's a few details:

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The beautiful bride, Meaghan:
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with her groom, Joe:
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Jared and Dane comparing notes:

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Another of the adorable couple:

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I know Dane is into simplification, but I didn't expect him to simplify his gear this much! (j/k Dane...)

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And then there's Jared...

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The bride and some of her buddies breaking out "Thriller" on the dance floor (holla!):

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I don't think she could have been happier with her images that she was seeing on the live slideshow:

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One more of Dane -- thanks again for bringing me along!

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And the last shot of the night (in the 38 degree weather...):

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The La Quinta Resort really was an amazing location (despite the cold) and Meaghan & Joe were so cute and fun. It really was an awesome time for me - one for "the books" as they say. ;-) I hope I get to do this again sometime -- such a great way to end 2007!

Thanks again Dane!


Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!!!

This time of year always brings a smile to my face. I love Christmas. Like REALLY love it. I love lights, I love trees (especially the SMELL of trees) and I love getting together with family.

I have been reading a book called "Ruthless Trust" (again) by Brennan Manning (yes, I'm re-reading "The Tipping Point" via audio book still). This is one of those books that I DON'T use an audio book for. It's so incredibly powerful. It's the kind of book that you really really need to have in front of you on a page that you can see and let the words sink in. And have a pen in your hand when you do.

Brennan Manning is one of the few authors that, when I read, I can hear God's voice speaking to and nudging at my heart. It's not necessarily that his words are "the voice of God". It's more like the words I read, and the state I'm in when I read them, allows me to tune in.

As I was reading my book this Christmas Eve, a few phrases hit home - especially with all the hustle and bustle (3 Christmas celebrations down, 3 to go...).

"The music of what is happening can be heard only in the present moment, right now, right here. Now/here spells nowhere. To be fully present to whoever or whatever is immediately before us is to pitch a ten in the wilderness of Nowhere. It is an act of radical trust - trust that God can be encountered at no other time and in no other place that the present moment. .... Being in the now removes us from endless and fruitless self-analysis."

He then expounds on that slightly to talk about what that means in the "hustle and bustle", saying "Calm forsight regarding future engagements and appointments is responsible behavior, so long as it is not a compulsive escape from Nowhere." (all quotes from Brennan Manning's "Rutheless Trust", 2000)

How many of us compulsively escape from the "Nowhere" to dwell on the past or think about what will happen in the future? As I was putting on my makeup this morning, it just struck me how much I really do dwell on the future - especially how I will be perceived. I was loading on the eyeshadow - one of my favorites, called "amethyst" -- and I wondered to myself if my family would think it's "too much". Or if it was too matchy-matchy with my plum shirt. I hope that all sounds as pathetic to you as it suddenly did to me.

At first I thought "Sheesh. Live in the now! You wear it because you like it! That's all that matters". And then I thought about that. Am I sucker for pop-culture or what?! I can't even tell you how many ads I've seen this season talking about "This year, do something for YOU" or whatever - including a Mercedes ad. Apparently, it's snuck into my psyche as well.

I started to realize that I'd been missing the whole point of "Nowhere". It's not about what others think - that's the future thing. But it's not about me either. It's about being fully present.

So as you go through the craziness of today and tomorrow and all through these holidays, ruthlessly pursue Nowhere. It's the only place worth being. ;-)


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hernandez Family Album

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This album was such a cool book when it was all done - I already ordered a sample of it for my studio. ;-p Liz, Alex and their daughters are just too cute. To see their album design, *CLICK HERE*.


Monday, December 17, 2007

We Are In Escrow Baby!

Talk about a whirlwind weekend! Our Realtor showed us this listing online of Friday night. We knew immediately it was too good to be true, but we rushed over to it on Saturday to take a look. We loved it immediately and set out to make an offer knowing it would go fast. The offer went in this morning and low and behold! They accepted almost immediately and we close in 14 DAYS!

We are so thankful and never thought we'd end up with something this nice! Here are the basic stats: it's brand new, never lived in, three bedroom, 2.5 bath, two story, 1700 sq. ft.; it's the last house in the development (it was a model - which also means it has upgraded floors, built ins, designer window treatments, paint, appliances, landscaping, full house hidden audio system, plantation shutters, etc.) and the builder was anxious to get it off the books before 2008 so it was a STEAL! It's so big, my closet has it's own window.

We couldn't be more excited. I know the picture is bad, but you can be sure I'll post more as soon as I take them - right now, I have to pack! BTW, that window to the right above the garage door? - that's my closet window. ;-p


Friday, December 14, 2007

Eriksen Family Album Design

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The Eriksen family album came in and I'm very excited. They ordered an album of just the kids and it came out so cute. To see their album design, *CLICK HERE*.

Thanks again to the wonderful and talented Sandra for her work. You rock!

101 in 1001 -- #8 coming soon!

I'll be blogging more information on this soon, but I was so inspired by Melissa Jill's 101 in 1001 list, I decided to make my own! Basically, it's a list of 101 things I want to do in the 1001 days. I had originally planned to "release" the list in 2008 as a sort of replacement for the "new year's resolution" thing, but I was so incredibly excited about #8 getting scheduled, I had the share!

#8 was to 2nd shoot for Dane Sanders. This week, through the course of a few emails, we managed to get that on the books. As long as he doesn't hold the fact that I shoot Nikon and that I attended APU (he went to Biola) against me, it should be a ton of fun. :-p And of course, you know I'll blog about it after it's done.

The full list will be coming soon. And please, if you start your own 101 in 1001 list, comment and let me know!


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So I've decided to re-read "The Tipping Point" (by Malcolm Gladwell). I have discovered something about myself recently - I really really like audio books. I find myself in the car a lot driving to photo and/or design sessions and I love to have some kind of sound. I do this even when I'm home alone - I have to have sound. I usually turn on the TV, even if I'm in the other room just so there's sound.

I have an ipod an it's loaded with a lot of my favorite tunes, but I have started getting into audio books lately too. I totally dig it. So to make more of my travel time, especially during the holidays, I'm re-reading (or listening I guess) the Tipping Point. If you haven't read it, it's AWESOME and totally helpful.

What books have you read that you'd recommend? Feel free to let me know your favorites - I'm always looking for more good stuff!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Beach Family Fun

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This year I had the pleasure of shooting the Bowles family again. I first worked with them last year (on my first aniversary! - I knew I was going to like them or I would have scheduled them for a different day). I love working with this crazy family - they're always keeping me laughing and are seriously tons of fun.

Here's the cute parents:

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The super cool boys (well, men almost!)

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Just the manly Bowles men:

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And another family shot:

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Can't believe I didn't blog this sooner

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It's almost pathetic when I realize how long it's been since I blogged, and I really have to apologize. I was surfing through some of my photos during my "end of the year clean out" (I try to archive things at the end of the year and do some "winter cleaning" as it were...) and I came across these from a Happily Ever After session in November. I couldn't believe I hadn't blogged this, so I HAD to through it in here before I archived the photos.

I had an awesome time shooting this session up in Big Bear and was SO proud of Sandra for braving the 38 degree water of Big Bear Lake in November! Yikes! It was cold, but she was such a trooper and I was so excited with the results (so was she!).

These are some of my favorites from the day:

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Check out the sky on this shot - couldn't have asked for cooler clouds.

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And my most favorite shot of all....

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Kudos to Kadie Pangburn for the inspiration for that final shot.

So what coolness are you hiding away somewhere that you could pull out one more time before 2007 ends?