Two Bright Lights and being published

Having a wedding published, as a wedding photographer, somehow makes us feel legit. I mean, I know my wedding images are great and my clients think they are great – but for whatever reason, it’s such a wonderful feeling to know a wedding blogger thinks they are awesome too, awesome enough to grace the virtual pages of their blog.

Last year I signed up for Two Bright Lights just after Katie + Justin’s wedding. If you are not familiar with Two Bright Lights, and you’re in the wedding industry, you should definitely check them out. As a photographer, it’s super easy to upload images, fill out a little bit of information about the clients and the vendors we worked with and submit to various blogs.

I submitted Katie’s wedding to Grey Likes Weddings, and literally what seemed like minutes (okay, maybe that’s just a slight exaggeration, but it wasn’t more than two days) Summer had emailed me wanting to publish their wedding day on the blog. I mean, really. What’s not to love about their wedding – take a look at the post for yourself.  You might find yourself drooling…be warned! 😉

My 2012 brides will find their wedding published as well. There is a wedding blog out there for anyone – rustic, vintage, country, big budget, small budgets…and I can’t wait!

It’s not always about the details, but it does help. As a wedding photographer, I like these little pieces. They help tell the story. They make your day just a little more personal. A little more YOU.

Speaking of a little more you – I want to end this post with a couple photos from Jess & Josh’s wedding day. Handmade jam from fruit picked at her grandmother’s house. Can’t get anymore personal than that!

This just in…Another wedding from August (and one from my girls at Mendocino Wedding & Events) will be published within the next few weeks. Ceremony at the Overlook and lunch at Mendo Bistro. Organic & Classy. Perfection.

 

Ukiah Wedding Faire, January 29 2012 (Ukiah, California)

If you’re wondering, no I will not be promoting my services at this wedding faire. I have never done a bridal show and I’m not sure it’s my cup of tea. If you haven’t noticed yet, there are THOUSANDS of wedding photographers at these things. For me and my personality, I do a lot better one-on-one, getting to know you and what you want from your wedding photographer – and whether or not we’d be a good fit.  These faires do work though, and I have a few wedding vendor friends who WILL be there. If you see them, make sure you give them a big hug from me!

Barra of Mendocino. Katrina is the Event Director and she’s super sweet and awesome to work with. If you’re looking for an all-inclusive venue, this is the place!

Assaggiare Mendocino. Julia is an amazing caterer. Her food is unreal and you will NOT be disappointed.

Blue Moon Signature Weddings. Linda is the owner and operator. She can help you plan your big day, help with day-of or a little bit of both.

Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden.  You can’t go wrong with a wedding in the Dahlia Garden. Carmen is the girl to talk to.

I’m also a preferred vendor with all four vendors I listed above. They know me, and trust me. They love my work and know I can give clients the attention they want and deserve. Having a good working relationship with other wedding vendors is key to a successful wedding day.

 

Have fun at the faire! And if you see me there, make sure you say HI! I promise, I don’t bite! 🙂

Raining

It’s been a long time since we’ve had some rain. I knew it would come, but I really didn’t mind the wait.

I knew all it took was for me to schedule a session outside (which I did for this weekend). And sure enough the rain has started and doesn’t look like it will end anytime soon.  So we will reschedule our session for a few weeks down the road.

Which got me thinking…are you a bride planning your wedding on the Mendocino Coast? If you are, and the ceremony and/or reception is outside, you may want to have a backup plan just in case. Mother nature has a way of changing our plans in a quick hurry, so it’s never a bad idea to have a Plan B on your wedding day.

But in the meantime, while I wait for wedding season to kick into high gear, I will sit and relax.

Right now, from my computer desk I have a view of green grass and an overflowing bird bath. The sound of the rain is so relaxing, and my office is very warm from the fire in the fireplace…makes me wish I had a couch in here!

Las Vegas

I will be my 3rd year of WPPI. The first year was…overwhelming. The 2nd year was…well. I was just plain sick. I’m crossing my fingers and toes this year is just right.

For my non-photographer readers, WPPI is a yearly tradeshow and convention in Las Vegas put on for wedding and portrait photographers. I think they estimate about 14K people attend.

It’s crazy.

This year I’m doing things just a little different. I’m actually not attending any of the classes at WPPI’s convention. I will be, however, attending classes through my website service (Showit). They have even named their convention “United”. We’re all staying at the MGM Signature, where the classes will be held and none of them start before 11 am 🙂

I also plan on doing some ‘photo safaring’. Which technically isn’t a word – but what it is is just that – we walk around and take pictures of things around us. Last year this didn’t happen – we were all either too sick, or too busy to get out on the strip at night and shoot. This year I really want to, and plan on it!

Do I have any words of advice for virgin WPPI-goers? Yes, in fact, I do!

1. Leave your $ and credit cards in the room when attending the tradeshow. Seriously. You will be tempted to purchase random stuff you had not intended on buying in the first place.  All of these companies offer up discounts well after the tradeshow is over – take the flyers and coupons home with you, and purchase later once you’re out of the tradeshow environment.

2. Wear sensible shoes. You will be doing a lot of walking, especially if you don’t stay at the MGM SIGNATURE (not the Grand). The MGM Grand is huge, and even if you stay there, you will still be doing a ton of walking. And then, if you stay at a totally different hotel, just give in and wear really comfortable tennis shoes. Okay…well maybe not tennis shoes. But you get the idea.

3. Hydrate. I can’t express enough how gross you’re going to feel after a few days in that place. Drink lots of water to flush out all the junk.

4. Food. You’re going to be tempted to eat fast food. It’s cheap and it’s convenient to the convention. Avoid it at all costs. It’s disgusting.

5. Unless you want a whole bunch of spam in your inbox, create a ‘WPPI’ email through ymail. You will have a name tag that each vendor will want to scan, and when they do, be prepared to have all sorts of junk sent your way.

6. Friends. You may or may not be going with friends. If you’re not, I will say a prayer for you. It’s not going to be easy to walk around alone, seeing all the groups of people laughing, smiling and having a great time. You’re going to feel lonely. But chin up! That person you are sitting next to in your platform class – say hi to her. Introduce yourself. Ask what other classes she has sat through. Is she in Vegas with her friends? You know – be nice and cheerful. I went to Vegas my first year alone and made some friends I still talk to on facebook. If this isn’t your personality – you’re going to have to just check it at the door. You will thank me later for this advice.

7. Ego. You are going to think you’re back in High School.  A lot of the big shot wedding photographers will walk around like they are the king and queen of the prom. This was and is my biggest problem with the convention. I was very happy to hear my website service was doing their own classes – no egos, just lots of good information and friendly people I talk to just about everyday in our facebook group.

 

And there you have it! The good, the bad and the ugly…

I need to get busy on my particular ‘goals’ I am going to set for myself with this convention. I’ve been reading a lot of business and marketing books lately, as well as taking an online course on business. I hope to continue this theme at the convention as well – and come home with a lot of new ideas to use in my wedding photography business.

I’m also going to be looking at new wedding albums. I have used Leather Craftsmen for the last year, but I honestly don’t feel that connected with their books. I need something a little more softer, prettier…maybe a silk album and white matte pages.

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