Caynay & Me! | Business Post

Wow!

That's all that really comes to mind with 2014. It was the year of 14 weddings (which is crazy to the 4 I shot in 2013)! It was the year of honing in on my "style", getting my editing consistent,  but most importantly celebrating some of the best couples I have ever met this year!

You know that feeling where your insides feel all tingly and there is an air bubble that catches itself in your chest and your breath skips just a couple of times? The feeling associated to a really good hug, or the perfect doughnut (no judging!).. That is what 2014 was for me. I had 14 couples! 14 couples who put their trust in me, who gave me the amazing honor of celebrating their big days but also giving them the pictures they will have forever.

Photos are funny that way. You don't realize their importance until down the road. That's when you realize the impact they have. They can transport you to another place, bringing you to the exact way it felt when you slipped on your wedding dress, or the way your flowers smelled, or the precise way your grooms eyes filled with joy as you walked down the isle.

I truly can not believe that this is my life. This is the path that I have been guided down and I am unbelievably thrilled for what 2015 has!

So first up for the 2014 review for Caynay is my beloved Caynay & Me photo! I tried SO hard to remember to do this for every wedding & I did!! These photos are such a treasure to me!

Congratulations again to all my 2014 couples.. I love each and every one of you (in probably a kinda creepy way) -- You all mean so much to me and I can't wait to watch your lives unfold!!!


Re-design..Maybe? | Business Post

My head is spinning. I'm a visual person so it's hard for me to "plan" without any tangible objects in front of me. But earlier this season I decided I needed a packaging re-vamp. After careful consideration and an incident that pushed me over the edge I have started researching, dreaming, and calculating (Offta.. Expensive) a packaging overhaul.

Ultimately I am excited. Stamps, stickers, new ribbon, new boxes, new flash drives (still debating as I truly do love mine), new EVERYTHING! I was feeling that my old packaging just wasn't suiting my style or my brand anymore. It just wasn't "me" and no longer felt like it represented my bright, warm, light, and vibrant style. Instead it felt dark, drab, and no longer original.

I like to keep things spicy and new. It only made sense to revamp the packaging that has treated me oh so well since 2012! I haven't quite figured out if I'm going to share it here or not (other then little sneaks) as I'm thinking of keeping it exclusively for my clients & couples!! Something pretty they can have show up on their doorstep with no idea of how it'll look! 

Leap | Business Gear Post

Sometimes you have to just close your eyes and hit "purchase" -- It's something that I have been toying with for a while. Something that I felt that my reception shots had been lacking and it was time to push away the fears, suck up the price, and make the leap.

Off camera flash.

Eesh.. Just typing it out makes my palms sweaty.

I have read countless amounts of articles, studied different flash systems. Pocket wizards, light stands, and batteries are something that I have been stewing over and I finally decided on what I wanted and the route I wanted to take.

I sprung for two Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite (plus new batteries and a light stand) as they have wireless transmission between the two of them without the need of pocket wizards! Less gear = less weight = happy wrists!

What also made me take the leap? A December 31st wedding and a February 7th wedding. What happens when this natural light photographer finds herself stuck in a snow storm those days and can't take anyone outside? Screwed. Big time. Especially without proper lighting or the help of it (My 430EXii is great but just not powerful enough!)..

So Michael will be my test subject and my living room will become a reception hall for practice! Also planning on taking them outside at night to work with them! I'm pretty excited to learn something new and push myself creatively!!


Healthy Dreams | Personal Post

Pour yourself a glass of wine because I'm keeping things real today. 

It isn't uncommon to find myself staring off into space daydreaming. Day dreaming about Caynay, the what if's, the things I want to accomplish, the comparison of how many weddings I need vs how many weddings I want. Then there are the dreams about publication, about speaking, about teaching. They are all ideas and dreams that swirl my head and most days they drive me forward. Most days they make me feel gitty with excitement. I get lost in those "what if's" far too often. Lost in the high that comes with building your own business and seeing it's successes.

But what about the days that they feel dark and heavy. The days that I am stuck in a rut that just doesn't seem to have a light at the end. I am a critical realist by nature. Constantly riding that high and then being slammed down to the ground with reality.

It's work. It's all work.
The front page of Google. Work.
Publications. Work.
Growing your foundation. Work.
Serving your clients. Work.
Maintaining relationships (both personal and business). Work.
Keeping your head above water. Work.
Grounding yourself. Work.

It's work that I enjoy but on some days it's an overwhelming reality that I just don't want to tackle. I don't want to work for the front page of Google, I don't want to submit my work to publications and I think a lot of it has to do with the cloud of possibilities and the possibility I'm most afraid of? Failure.

Growing up in an itty bitty town where everyone knows your ins and outs I grew up with the fear of judgement. With the fear of what if I screw up? What if I make a mistake? & sure enough I did make my fair share of mistakes. With those mistakes the one piece I worried about most? What will everyone think of me.. My dad worked real hard when I was growing up to teach me not to care about what others think. To ride my own wave and power through because I am strong woman.. I wish it would have worked because frankly I care way too much about what others think. 

But you just have to wake up and push through. So I'm pushing through the fear. Setting aside the concern for judgement. Pushing away the thoughts of failure. I'll accomplish those dreams some day. I know I will. I'll power through all and get to the top of where I want to be. But for now I'm just going to keep dreaming. Building that core foundation because no successful business has a weak backbone.

Now What? | Personal Post

Since June my life has been eating, living, breathing weddings & serving my clients. This summer has been a dream come true and I've been so unbelievably fortunate to have the most amazing clients.

I photographed a stunning wedding in Rockford this weekend and now I have a break till December 31st which is my last wedding of the year.. Ahhh! What in the world am I going to blog about?! What am I going to do with my weekends and the free time?! I'm a little nervous actually. I feel like waking up on a Saturday with nothing to do will be hard for me (for the first few weeks) as it won't be necessary to wake up early, or charge a million batteries, format memory cards, shave my legs (Yepp. Not happening), gather addresses, phone numbers, edit.. EDIT... What am I going to do without editing through this time off?!




Well I have a lot I want to accomplish this winter and the list keeps growing. I'm hoping to get some of these things knocked out during my off time!

I was hoping to have Marissa & Joe's wedding up today but I woke up yesterday morning with a horrible cold/flu maybe? You know the body aches, took a 3 hour nap, and still exhausted type? Fun. Plus they are in Jamaica right now so I don't think they'll mind :)

So I figured with an open day & nothing to talk about I'd list some of my goals that I'm hoping to reach/accomplish this off season.

      1. Reach 20 weddings. Shooting 4 in 2013 - 14 in 2014 - I'm really not wanting to get myself in too deep too quick. So 20 is the goal! Almost there :) 
      2. Business cards? Mine are already out dated.. Womp womp wompp 
      3. Toying the idea of new packaging. Really sitting the fence on this right now. Wanting something more original/classy/creative but not sure what. Bleh. 
      4. Album design - Scares the poop out of me for some reason but need to do it.
      5. Send gear in for cleaning/repairs/routine maintenance. I know, I know Dad. Get it done :)
      6. Bridal welcome packet?
      7. Formulate blog ideas.
      8. Work on networking within Caynay Brides | Figure out what I want to do with it. 
      9. Continuing working on website. 
      10. Taxes/appointment with CPA. 
      11. INVEST. 
      12. Clean out MacBook/restore. 
      13. Update client files/Create address information database. 
      14. Get my 2015 brides prepped and pumped to be MARRIED! 
      15. Toy the idea of a attending a workshop... Eep. Maybe. 
      16. Caynay tag line. I have what I want the foundation to be.. Now just to spin it into something classy/clever. 
Oofta.. By the looks of this it isn't going to be an off season at all. I've got a lot of work ahead of me but I am thrilled to have some time off to work on the back bone/foundation of Caynay!