Several adoptions took place the day of the event with even more potential homes in the works. It was so inspiring to see how many people and local businesses support this organization. Thousands of dogs and cats have been placed in the right homes due to Planned Pethood taking their work very seriously. How amazing is it to see so many people dedicated to making the lives of other living beings better.
“Infertility has challenged us in many ways, but the main life lesson that has come from our struggle is that we can’t always plan things that happen in our lives. We had a plan and an image of how our life would play out and when we would have kids, but we had to let go and realize that sometimes it doesn’t matter what plans you have. Things happen when they are supposed to happen. We found more peace when we let go and let life happen.”
Today marks four years since I filed for my business license with the state. Four whole years!
If you hadn't noticed, I have learned a lot in that time. I work really hard to be very good at what I do. I am not a half-ass kind of person and I am going to make sure I can do a good job. I take every opportunity to learn something and I invest in my education. Skill and practice are integral to doing my job well.
Have I ever told you that the reception is my favorite part of the wedding day? The whole day is truly wonderful and rewarding. There is just something about the reception that makes me happy. I get to play with lighting. I get to document natural moments, not posed bodies. People finally relax after the stress and structure of making sure the rest of the day has gone the way it was planned. It is almost as if the bride and groom can breathe a sigh of relief when they sit down for dinner.
So when do I get to see the true personalities of my couples? I see who they are in every detail of their day. Rebecca and Mark had so many beautiful and sentimental details in their wedding. The decor, food choices, attire, and venue all spoke to who these two are. My favorite part of the whole day had to be the reception. Mark and Rebecca really kicked back and enjoyed every minute of it. They danced and laughed. They enjoyed their guests company and made everyone feel welcome.
I wanted to share a few images from the large family group I photographed earlier this month. The Fankhouser family had members come to Toledo from all over the country: Texas, Atlanta, Chicago and more. Hundreds of miles were traveled so that they could celebrate the holiday together. They decided that the rarity of the whole group being together merited professional documentation. The Fankhouser family included five children, fourteen grandchildren, and one proud patriarch. What an amazing legacy.
Everything about this wedding day went so well. Our weather was amazing. The timeline was comfortable. Everyone looked great and the wedding party was so much fun to work with. It makes me so happy to see a couple have friends and family support them and celebrate them on their special day. Everyone was working hard to make sure the day went off without a hitch.
Working with my Amy to pursue the creative things she loves has been such a fun experience. We have photographed outfits in snow, in rain, in summer heat. We have made some tricky locations look great and working with Amy has taught me new things about my own craft as well. Fashion photography is very different from portraiture or event coverage. I thrive on the textures, patterns, colors and flow of each outfit. I can’t wait to see the next ensemble she has for me to photograph.
Working with other local photographers keeps me practicing my craft on the weekends I do not have my own weddings. I take the opportunity to try new things, learn something new and get to photograph a wide variety of locations. Every weekend there is a new challenge. I see many different problems, hiccups, weather and light situations. Each difficulty or new experience makes me a better professional. I learn what to plan for, how to be flexible and what to coach my couples to consider when planning their day. No matter what industry you are in, don’t forget to try new things!
I was contacted by Stacey a couple days later and we set up a networking meeting. As a business owner, it is so beneficial to make connections and grow relationships with other local professionals. I highly value having a list of service providers that I trust to refer my friends and clients to. Stacey explained how passionate she is about changing the face of her industry and calling her peers to a higher service standard. She hopes to see more diversity in the professional world, specifically more women entrepreneurs. Stacey enjoys using her time to network and invest in the community as well.
What is one tip you would give other self-employed professionals who are just starting out? Business can be rocky, especially at the beginning, so it’s important to keep developing ideas—to be innovative, to try new things. Don’t become stagnant. Keep learning—attend conferences, workshops, webinars. If one thing doesn’t work, try something else. Observe and learn what your clients want, and adjust your services accordingly. I’ve learned in life that things often don’t go as planned. This is true in business as well. Don’t fight it; go with it! Being stuck in one certain mindset can be damaging to your business’s success.
Victor and Suzie decided to have an intimate ceremony with only family and close friends. It was a very special event. We definitely laughed during the couple’s lighthearted vows. There were so many smiles as we saw Suzie and Victor’s commitment celebrated. What beautiful moments I get to document as a wedding photographer!
Every business need a strong brand. A large part of building an iconic brand is having professional images that show off your services, products or people. Check out a previous post I wrote about this topic here: “Commercial Branding Shoot. Why You Need One”. Working with local Toledo professionals to create high quality branding images has been a rewarding experience and I enjoy seeing how my services can make a difference in their business.
Danielle contacted me about having some photos done of her and her dog, King. Danielle struggles with some really tough physical and mental health issues. She told me how King has stepped up to assist her in so many ways. King steps in when she has panic attacks and helps to snap Danielle out of the anxiety. He also helps to remind her to take her medication and he is by her side every moment of her day. King was genetically tested and it turns out he is part pit bull and part bull mastiff. He definitely got the size and looks more from his pit bull genes but some of his personality really did reflect the mastiff side. King is loyal and would give his life to protect his family.
Isabella is a self-taught makeup guru and her look was flawless. Bella also does modeling, and working with her was a dream. She knew exactly what to do, and how to look great. I never expect this from my seniors, but it definitely makes my job easier. Bella is truly beautiful, inside and out, and I feel that we captured her personality perfectly.
Commercial photography makes up a good portion of my business. I work with a variety of businesses and professionals in different fields. Some need branding images for their websites, some need social media content, and others are looking for headshots. Every business needs documentation of their product, service or professional faces. High quality commercial images play a large role in marketing to potential clients. I really enjoy being able to offer this service to Toledo area businesses. I love getting to know more about other professions and brands as I work with them on their commercial photos.
Jillian was the winner of my Pet Photo Shoot giveaway for my Fluff-uary pet event. Jilly had over 100 votes cast to help her win the contest. Jillian’s owner, MK, is a student at BGSU in the music program. MK brings Jillian to campus regularly and she has a real fan following. I was told the whole orchestra was voting for her.
Jessica contacted me in the fall to schedule some branding images for her new proofreading and editing business. I have known Jessica since I was in high school and we worked together for a long time. I know how much she loves her dog and I wasn’t surprised at all when she asked to let Rosie join in some of the photos.
Interviewing a writer about her dog produced a lot of amazing information. Check out Rosie’s story and Jessica’s insights into her dog.
The best part about Lauren’s clothing choices was that they matched. She chose one color scheme for her whole photo shoot. Black and white were a perfect fit for her elegant personality. Choosing a color scheme, can make outfit choices much less stressful. When you are required to follow a theme, it is less likely you will become overwhelmed by all of your options. This idea can be applied to family photo sessions and headshots as well.
March 2019 was my fourth year documenting the Water for Ishmael annual fundraising event. Each spring the staff, students, and volunteers put together a special event to raise funds for scholarships for ESL students. Dinner is served and includes dishes from many different countries. Some food is homemade and some is donated by a variety of local restaurants. The event also involves a silent auction, a bazar, cultural demonstrations and traditional dance performances.