Ah creating. Sometimes in the midst of creating for a living, you have to remember to take the time and actually create. I’m sure that if you follow along on a regular basis, you’ve heard me speak along these lines before. Perhaps, one of the reasons I do talk about this so often is because I’m constantly needing to remind myself of the importance. So excuse me while I talk to myself over here.
Have you ever noticed that the things that are important in life tend to need to be prioritized or they don’t actually happen? I have to plan to be with my family, to make dinner and sit with my kids and husband if I want to enjoy that moment. I have to choose to make time to read and rest or it doesn’t exist in my life.
I LOVE being a wedding photographer. Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, I don’t always LOVE what it takes to be a wedding photographer. Running a business isn’t really on my faves list. Dealing with finances doesn’t fill me with joy. Editing for hours and hours isn’t my favorite. BUT, a lot of those things are required if I want to continue to be a wedding photographer. The other side is that even in the hard, there is always growth and hopefully improvement. I don’t always love running a business but I LOVE my fellow entrepreneur, business owner, wedding industry friends, that I’ve walked this road alongside… I love the ladies that like me enough to help me build this photography company and bring me coffee on 16 hour wedding days… that’s an upside. And even though for many years I did do all of my editing on my own, I don’t think I would appreciate Sarah (who does it all for me now) nearly as much if I hadn’t gone crosseyed trying to color correct 200 reception images… 😉
So, of course, all of this leads me to tell you that creativity doesn’t come naturally
sometimes… nope… always, it always takes intentionality; it never comes naturally. If I want to give my best to my bride, I have to spend time learning and growing. Probably the side of owning a photography studio you don’t hear a lot of is the number of hours that go into educating yourself to serve your clients well. I take business classes (because I dislike business), marketing classes (because I want to work with the coolest of brides and need to know how to connect with them), photography classes (because people know amazing things and I want to learn them) lighting classes (because sometimes it’s not the most fun working in a totally dark reception)… and the list goes on.
But occasionally, and I should do this far more often, I grab a camera, a ridiculously beautiful and talented model (who is also trying to grow and create) and a dear friend who’s dealing with all the owning a wedding photography studio challenges of life and we go create something.
This is the stunning Andrea, she is… well… stunning. We met in a SUPER ridiculous stalker-like fashion. I mean, I was the stalker – to be clear. Andrea is too classy to be a stalker…
It was like this. As a photographer, I notice people. It’s not uncommon for me to see an exceptionally unique person and think o man, o man I want to photograph them! But being a. an introvert and b. a scaredy-cat, the idea of running up to a total stranger, handing them a card and saying (in a super cool French accent as you would need to say such things) “zellllo, I would like to zotoraph you” without sounding like a creeper sounds somewhat like scaling Mt Everest with flip flops on.
Now French stalker or not, this actually has been a lifelong dream to be bold enough to actually approach someone. So here I was at a wedding networking event with The Knot at the Ritz Carlton in Miami, there were all sorts of fun people there and everyone was in the wedding industry. I saw Andrea walk in, I mean glide in… and I had that man o man thought. I thought about it all night so at the end of the night, I found all the guts I could muster and introduced myself to her. I figured it was a wedding industry meet up so she would at least hopefully not call the cops…
It turns out she is the sweetest, kindest, nicest business owner/model/human/entrepreneur herself and she was more than excited to chat about creating something together.
At some point, I managed to drag Erica J Photography into this… so we decided to go to downtown West Palm Beach for an indoor venue and then discovered it was closed. We shifted gears and went to an outdoor location which was great until it started pouring rain. Like, for my friends NOT in south Florida (pity the southern California people reading this you guys have no idea what I’m talking about) but in this area when it rains, it RAINS. Like, whoops, the sky fell down.
We were standing on ladders holding lights for each other, holding umbrellas over lights and each other, poor Andrea was SOAKING wet. We ran, and photographed, and slipped, and played, and were eaten by bugs, and were exhausted, and tired, and soaked to the bone. And when we were done we laughed and drank coffee (well Erica and I did, we sent Andrea home to take a bath) and LOVED photographing again.
It doesn’t really make a lot of sense but sometimes, with the right people in the right moments of creativity, it makes us stronger, better creators. I do love taking the time to be intentional, especially with amazing people like Andrea and Erica.