Wedding Planning Overload

Wedding Planning Overload

Wedding planning can be stressful.  But let me help you out a little bit.  Take a look at what your photographer is probably thinking when it comes to your wedding day timeline in order to capture the perfect shots.

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Personal Projects Matter

I feel downright guilty when I work on personal projects or my personal photography.  Anyone else feel this way? 

What on earth is up with that!?

While running my businesses, I rarely make the time to work on things just for me or my family. (Literally, my family is always dead-last when it comes to getting pictures. Sorry, Mom.)  I always feel like I should be spending that time building my business instead. 

But lately, I have started seeing things a little differently.  When I realized a couple of weeks ago that I hadn't really even touched the images from my backpacking trip in 2011 - I knew I needed to start changing my attitude.  Those images represent an incredibly important year in my life and I can't ignore them on my computer anymore because I feel badly about working on personal projects.  It has been 5 years and that is unacceptable. How can I build a business that encourages people to document important life milestones, yet I don't take the time to preserve my own memories?  

It is time for an attitude change you guys!  Stop feeling bad for taking time to work on YOU!  I know I can't be the only one who feels this way.   We NEED to work on our own projects in order to keep fueling our creative business energy.  

Whatever it is that you have been putting off because "you are not important enough"... go do it. Go paint that piece of furniture you have been meaning to up-cycle.  Go print your pictures and hang them up.  Go try that new recipe you have been wanting to cook.  Go away for the weekend and make memories.  GO. DO. YOU.  Right now.

I will be expecting a report back on how you did.  ๐Ÿ˜‰

This is from that very backpacking trip - the day we visited Cop รก n in Honduras.  Stunningly beautiful and a little haunting to stand within the ruins. But imagine waking up each day to that view....  

This is from that very backpacking trip - the day we visited Copรกn in Honduras.  Stunningly beautiful and a little haunting to stand within the ruins. But imagine waking up each day to that view....  

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Read Other Posts From Melanie Below:

The Day I Photographed A Healer

A few months ago I was surprised and a little confused when I opened an e-mail from a woman who works for CURE Magazine.  CURE is a an award-winning publication for cancer patients, caregivers, and survivors and every year they have a special edition that is released known as the Extraordinary Healers Awards Edition.   This special edition honors and recognizes oncology nurses who go above and beyond for their patients and truly make the world a better place.  They are a beam of light during a very dark time in a person's life.  

After briefly looking at the headline, I was thinking what could she possibly be contacting me for....  Surely this was by accident.   

Little did I know that it would lead to one of the most rewarding and humbling photographic experiences I have had in a long time. I was asked to photograph one of their chosen Extraordinary Healers for the special edition release.... and she was right here in my county.  

Not only did I get to meet her (Jackie), but I also met her nominator (LaVerne)- a cancer survivor and a Paramedic Instructor Coordinator.  Spending time with the two of them was an emotional roller coaster as they talked to me about their journey from the diagnosis, the treatments, a death scare, and finally a happier ending.

Jackie, being the humble and amazing woman that she is, of course feels that her entire department is deserving of the award and I couldn't agree more.  The work that they do is ... well it seems impossible, incredible, overwhelming, and extraordinary all in one.  I can see why LaVerne chose to honor Jackie though. She has a warm and giving personality and is beyond dedicated.  As we were going through their story and walking around for photographs, Jackie was taking little side trips to check on her patients. As if a career as a nurse doesn't keep her busy enough, she also helped LaVerne start a much-needed cancer patient support group here in Iron County. 

So I will leave you with this last thought and request - Thank a nurse when you see one.  Tell them you appreciate them.  No they are not in this job for the recognition ... but it doesn't mean they don't deserve it.  They give up time with their families to save yours. I'd say that is extraordinary.   

**** The CURE Extraordinary Healers Special Edition is now published!  I received my copy in the mail not too long ago. Links to the book and essays are below!

The book cover!

The book cover!

You can find the essays on the healers here: http://www.curetoday.com/publications/extraordinary-healer/2016/extraordinary-healer2016

Here is LaVerne's essay: http://www.curetoday.com/publications/extraordinary-healer/2016/extraordinary-healer2016/finding-a-gem-in-the-midst-of-a-cancer-diagnosis

To My Brides That Changed Everything...

It wasn't too long ago when I was saying, "No way am I shooting weddings anymore".  I had written them off after one bad experience.  Little did I know that a bride, or three, were going to come along and change my entire perspective. 

Long story short, 6 or 7 years ago I provided a full day of wedding coverage and printed the couples pictures out of my own pocket and placed them into a beautiful album....

And then I was never paid.  It was a shocking and defeating experience.  I was still the naive girl who took a person's word over good business sense and contracts.   Well, the lesson was well-learned and now I realize it was worth every last penny it cost me to print those images.  I still have that album of images to this day and it is a reminder of how far I have come as a photographer and business owner.  

So for a very long time I did my best to shy away from wedding photography because I didn't see how different it could all be.  I would only photograph a wedding for a close friend or family member and even then I was still convinced this wasn't my game.  

Then along came my down-to-earth and fabulous bride Toni. Girl, I owe you my deepest gratitude for changing everything.  Then I met Tina, and after that, Katie.  Tina and Katie, I could tell from day one how much you both valued not only me as a person but also my services. The three of you have forever changed me and my business.  I could not have asked for three better brides to completely turn me around and flip me upside down.  After just one wedding season, these ladies had me singing a different tune.  I am now happy to say that I am indeed a wedding photographer AND I love and enjoy, that's right I said it - I LOVE photographing weddings. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all my lovely brides!