Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"...because I don't want to outsource my life."

WPPI Road Trip 2010: DC
Monday, September 13, 2010

Well, to be fair, my "road trip" started on Sunday with the fabulous Melody Gillikin and the super-incredible Heather Hartsell. These two ladies are kindred spirits. I can't say enough about them. Beyond their photographic skill, they are cool people. My peeps. And after this weekend, I see a million more road trip adventures in our future as we continue to support and encourage each other in life, our art, and our businesses. It's a rare and priceless find to share true friendship and I am blessed.

WPPI was a variety of tech info, archiving, lighting...blah blah blah. Great stuff, necessary stuff, but let's be honest. I went because Jasmine Star was going to speak. And it comes as no surprise that she did not disappoint in the least. If anything, she more than exceeded my expectations.

Rabbit trail: Shameless confession time. I am a reality tv show junkie. Love it. Will watch anything. The Hills, Real Housewives, The Biggest Catch, Ice Road Truckers, Road Rules...seriously, anything. And to me, Jasmine Star is like a reality tv star, except in the blog world. So yes, I was a bit awed. Because she dazzles in that real life way when you see someone in the flesh that you have admired from behind a tv (or computer) screen for a long time. I know the name of her dog, I know what candy she likes, I know that her sister just got married. So there, I'm a self-professed stalker.

But in Jasmine's case, there is something special going on. It's beyond the glossy-eyed numbness of watching Lauren Conrad combat her latest catfight with Heidi and Spencer. I follow Jasmine because I am mesmerized by her commitment to making her life what she wants it to be. She is the biggest dreamer I have ever met. She follows her intuition and her heart and whether she succeeds or fails, she attacks every project, every idea, every dream with the same wholeheartedness and keeps herself intact along the way. I admire this. And in a lot of ways, I envy it.

To avoid making this blog a marathoner, I'll get to the point. I learned a few things from Jasmine this week, but the most important thing she said to me, was a response she gave to a question after her presentation. She was asked if she outsourced her editing, and I'll be honest, the question was slightly snippety in that "How much of your work is actually you?" kind of way. Without skipping a beat, Jasmine quipped back, "Yes, I outsource my editing, because I don't want to outsource my life." She made a choice that worked for her business because it worked first for her family. She values her time with her husband above all and she made sure to keep that priority in check.

I took a good dose of medicine from that one statement. Something I have struggled with over the past several months as my business has grown by leaps and bounds is time management. Yes, I am ultra organized and complete projects and my home is in order, we have a routine. But when it comes to organizing the time that belongs to my daughter and husband, I've been failing for a long while. I miss them, and I can see that they miss me. And frankly, that takes the shine off my business flourishing, if you know what I mean.

So, I'm making some changes. For one, Friday night has been declared Family Night. No touching the computer. No blogging. No editing. No booking. Nada. Family Night (and then Date Night later when Emily is in bed). I know one of the reasons a lot of people work with me is that I work quickly and can have turnarounds incredibly fast. I don't expect this to change a lot, but I do expect and plan to have it change a little. And I am hoping you believe enough in me as a photographer, a mother, a wife and a friend that those few extra days it may take to get your galleries up and your CDs burned will be worthwhile to you, because ultimately, if I take care of myself by taking care of my family, my heart and creativity will be refreshed and sustained for you in the very best way.

Jasmine's greatest lesson was to learn how to brand yourself. Not the snazzy marketing way (which of course she does and we all strive for), but what she was talking about was transparency. Branding YOU. In the heart sense. I'm continuing to figure that out and will explore some creative ways to share that more with you. I think most of you understand that I do this because I love the arts, love people, see the world differently, etc. etc. And I honestly hope and pray this is why you love my work. Because it is truly an extension of me. So, neat things are to come. More of me, more of life and ultimately, more of you!

Thanks to Jasmine for being stellar. She is a bright spot in my memory and an exceptional photographer, businesswoman, and most importantly, human being.

Thanks to Melody Gillikin for editing up this fabulous photograph that someone kindly snapped for us with Jasmine. Yes, I was psyched as I fulfilled my lifetime goal of being photographed with a celebrity. Tee hee. Shameless!!!!

PS. Check out Lindsay Adler. She was another speaker. I am amazed at how much she has accomplished in her life. She is awesome!


Here's some nifty snippets that I took away from the sessions:

You are never too educated.
Take care of your inspiration.
Your first impact is a lasting impression.
You might not like where you are, but like where you're going.
Find out how to be the best version of you.
Sacrifice produces amazing results: give, help, connect.


  1. What a collection of valuable lessons that will change your life in every way! Your posting is adorable...funny and yet, deep in wisdom. Your family is your greatest treasure and I am so proud of you for making sure you protect it's place of honor and priority. Not easy to keep that perspective when success is a run away doing what you are doing, the train will still get there, but it will just take it's time, allowing you to enjoy the journey along the way. Instead of looking out the window at a blur that would be impossible to capture, you will get to see all of the beautiful and miraculous details along the way! You create the life you have imagined...good for you for your commitment to do so!

  2. Family night is one of the best things we EVER did in our family (besides date night hehe) I am so glad that you decided to adopt this bit of will be some of the best memories...ever...Hollywood Safari...seriously ask Paula...let her tell you how Family Night influenced her life....on second thought maybe will get an ear full on how I play Scrabble....

  3. Another inspiring blog post by you that I have truly enjoyed reading! Dont sell yourself short.. you are inspiring people around you daily too!! Namely.. me! You took my best friend Chrissie Carters wedding photos and they were amazing! On a side note.. yay for j* love the photo.. lucky you! ;)

  4. Thank you so much for the support and encouragement! I go forward in faith knowing that my photography and my business will only be more blessed by keeping my priorities straight and special taking care with those closest to me. Cheers to new opportunities and life lessons!


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