My husband and I took a trip to Arizona recently for a photography conference, called Showit United. It was easily one of my favorite trips we’ve ever been on! We started in Tempe and Phoenix for the first five days for the conference, then we traveled to Sedona and The Grand Canyon for the last part of our trip! Before I get to share some highlights of the trip, I first want to talk more about the United conference.
This was an educational conference with speakers, breakouts, styled shoots, and so much more! I realized I cry more than the average human, no big deal. The speakers were beyond incredible. I felt renewed, inspired, and loved. I met some amazing photographer idols who I’ve followed for yearssss (including Jasmine Star who I got to meet and hug and obsess over)! I got to dress up for a beautiful gala with my hubby, made new friends, reunited with old friends, and grew closer to my dear friend from home. This was SO much more than just a photography conference, friends.
We all have a purpose. I have a purpose. YOU have a purpose.
You are heard, you are seen, you are loved, you are intelligent, you are beautiful, you matter, you are MORE than enough. We all have our valleys and challenges. You are not alone. Be generous, be kind, love hard. Put your mental health first. Give and give some more. Stay focused, be intentional, change your perception, be confident, and make sacrifices.
This is everything I took away from the conference. I mean, this was a photography conference, you guys!… Can you believe that? I feel like it was more of a spiritual journey. Don’t get me wrong, I learned A LOT about how to improve my business… but those are the topics that stuck in my head the most. These are the things that matter most to me. These are the things that will empower me to run a successful business. If I keep working hard towards being a good human, living intentionally, putting others first, and doing the things that make me feel whole, THAT is the only way I can foster this business.
A community that teaches these life lessons is a community I will forever be proud to be a part of. I am so grateful for the opportunity to attend this conference and to have witnessed the support, love, and kindness that it was built on.
Now moving past the mushy gushy stuff, here comes the fun! This is where the awesome desert photos come in! I had so much fun photographing this stunning couple alongside two alpacas and the beautiful details. I knew I signed up for the “fiesta desert” styled shoot, but the alpacas were the best surprise EVER!
Thank you, Raelene for this amazing experience! Vendors listed below–
Host- Raelene Schulmeister Photography
Cake- Sugar By Tracy
Gown- Bella Lily Bridal
And just for fun, I’ll share some shots I got of Alysha of Blessed Beginnings Photography, Jaimi of Jaimi Bailey Photography, some of my new headshots, and some fun traveling photos!
Oh, I remember it so clearly. This time last year, I was crying, complaining, and felt defeated. My husband witnessed the worst of it (sorry, Eli!). I had maybe 3 people on the books for the Spring and I was so confused as to why I wasn’t booking more clients. Here I am exactly one year later, and I have an incredible amount of clients on my schedule and I am getting new inquiries almost every day. Normally I would say, “Woah, I don’t know what happened!” But I actually do know… That’s what I’m going to share with you today!
“If we don’t have dreams, what do we have?” I heard this on some random Netflix show I was watching the other day… It spoke to me. If we aren’t dreaming and fighting to get where we want to be, then what are we doing!? It’s time to reach your goals and begin living your dream! YOU are the only one who can make that happen. It all starts with YOU. So, let’s get you going!
Here are some ways to grow your business and start booking more clients from my personal experience! These tips worked for me, but keep in mind it took an entire year to get there. I have practiced, worked hard, tried new things, followed through, and taken chances. I went for it and I made it happen. It’s not going to happen for you overnight, but it will happen over some time and on YOUR time. So stop comparing your business growth to someone else’s because it doesn’t work that way. This is YOUR experience and YOUR story. Soon you are going to stop feeling defeated and start feeling refreshed with a newfound perspective and confidence!
If you’re interested in an educational opportunity with me, check out more information about my “Shades of Pink” Workshop on June 18th!! Find the registration and investment at the bottom of the page! Mentoring is fully booked until the Summer- if you are interested in some one-on-one time, shoot me an email! I can’t wait to hear from you!!
To sign up for my Education Email list, click HERE!
Do you know your worth…? Have you ever really thought about that before? Have you ever been put to the test about knowing your worth? I always knew what that question meant, but I didn’t know the true meaning of it until I had to step away from all the things I was doing and really take a look at myself. I had to dig deep, I had to be honest with myself, and I had to make some changes.
It feels good to be valued, doesn’t it? But it feels terrible when you’re not. When you are just starting to understand your worth, it can still be hard to make confident decisions about what you’re doing, who you’re working for, or how you’re being treated. After starting my photography business, I had to make some tough decisions. There were times when I just didn’t think I was worth as much as something or someone else, but then I grew to know my value. I have been challenged and tested time and time again. Certain situations and people have come in and out of my life by way of soul-searching and contemplating whether I was adding value or having it taken away from me. There are jobs, moments and people that are put into your life for a reason… they force you to soul-search, test your will, and grow.
I’m sure a lot of you have been in positions where we have felt undervalued and been given unfair circumstances. Let me tell you… I have been there a few times. After a while, it gets tiring. I am all for working hard, going above and beyond, and making a sacrifice for the greater good, but when I don’t get the appreciation or respect I feel I deserve, I begin to feel a lack of value as a whole. After a full year of going full-time as a photographer, I am now confident enough to say that I KNOW my worth. I know what I deserve and I know how I should be valued as a person and photographer. I decided I will no longer give away my hard work, time, and my personal space to a situation that doesn’t create value for both sides. I know that each and every one of you wants to feel that you earn value when you make an investment, and I believe everybody should dig deep to find that source of positive gain.
Now, think about it… Are you also confident enough to say the same? Do you know your worth? It took me a solid year in business to figure it out and I continue to work on it daily; maybe you need some time to figure it out, too. Take a step back, give yourself the time to really think about how far you’ve come in your career. Look at your business and your life. Are you getting what you know you deserve? Think about why you think you should be valued, and the changes you might need to make. Are you making sacrifices that seem unfair? I can tell you now, it’s okay and it’s going to all be worth it in the end. These things happen for a reason… to make you stronger, to teach you how to speak up and stand up. When you’re sacrificing and doing the best you can, you should be so proud of yourself. Just know that the right thing at the right time will be placed in front of you and it will pay off. You are always rewarded in the end.
Sometimes it seems impossible to get out of a situation or lifestyle after being committed to it for so long. I know, I’ve been there too. Weirdly enough, every time I put it in my head that I belong somewhere else or I don’t feel right in a position, I start making natural changes that push me in the right direction and I end up exactly where I need to be. Doing the right thing is never the easiest decision. It takes strength and courage to speak up for yourself and it takes hard work to make your worth a reality. Just know your value and don’t let that slip away from you. When it comes time for a change and you’re ready to step out, that will be your moment. It makes the world of a difference to know your worth and be confident in your strengths. If you don’t recognize your worth yet, maybe you need to make some changes, or maybe you just need space to grow. It takes time to really know and feel it, but I just wanted to get this thought into your head.
With faith, comes joy.
So have a little faith, do the right thing for yourself, and remember you deserve to be valued and you deserve to be happy!
If you joined my Education Mailing List, then you already read about my big clue! Now it’s time to share it with everyone else!!
Over the last 8 months, I have grown to really love my one-on-one mentoring sessions, like almost too much! After my first mentoring lesson last summer, I knew I wanted to do something more for other photographers who are trying to get their business rolling… something BIG… something different. I learned that mentoring isn’t just about the education. It’s about the guidance, the support, and the love I pour into the relationships with my clients. The girls I have already mentored have become more than a “mentee”, but actually a friend! I LOVE these girls and I am so thankful for the support that goes both ways!
There are so many different phases of becoming a photographer, especially when you’re on the way to full-time. I remember when I was first trying to get my business started, but people weren’t taking me seriously, which made me feel discouraged. I decided to kick that thought and start being my own cheerleader. I pushed myself and decided to invest in more education to take me to that next level.
When I first started, my goal was to become a wedding photographer, but that didn’t mean I was going to jump into strictly wedding education. When making the decision of where to start and keep growing in education, I knew I had to start with the basics, I couldn’t rush into all the things. I needed to invest in education that would teach me everything I needed to know about portrait photography first, like posing, lighting, camera settings and techniques, marketing, branding… I mean everything! Then, I knew when I felt confident enough in my skills, I would then be ready to take on the wedding world! Through this process, I met other photographers who were there to encourage me, inspire me, and cheer me on throughout the process. That’s truly one of the best parts and it’s so important to have that support system in our industry. Maybe you’re interested in doing the same thing I did, maybe you’re only interested in wedding photography, or maybe you’re only interested in portrait photography- either way, you’re on the right track by coming to my blog, because something so amazing and so special is coming thisJUNE and I have a feeling it’s perfect for YOU!
So to sum up the big clue– This IN-PERSON experience I’m offering is for those who want to grow their business and those who want to create strong friendships with women who will encourage them every step of the way. This is for those who want to make that next step because they believe in themselves! I believe in you too, and I will be there to guide you through it all. I’ve been through it all and I want to lift up a team of women who can embrace their differences while empowering each other! We all share the same passion, but we all offer something different and special… now that’s something to celebrate!
If you’re interested in joining the RTP Education List, click HERE to sign up! I’ll be sharing my heart, my photography tips, and upcoming exciting announcements! This list will be the first to find out about details, events, secrets, and the first place registration will open up!
Yep, it’s true… little Remy is overwhelmed because her dreams are so big they take over her tiny head. Have you seen my head? It’s small… My to-do list keeps growing and growing, which means I need to calm down! Can anyone relate? Let’s all take a deep breath together… yeah, that didn’t help me either. The winter can provide lots of downtimes, but the planning time for the Spring can be so overwhelming.
I’m overwhelmed with new ideas, creative planning, my crazy work schedule, my emotions, and the balance of work life and the real world. When I get like this, I know I need to slow down. I shouldn’t be in a rush to get it all done at once. I need to remember that my timing is God’s timing. He has this path laid out for me, and I need to walk through it, not run! If I start rushing, I know I’m not doing things to their fullest potential. When I start planning something big, exciting, and totally out of my comfort zone, I‘ve learnedthat I need to take my time with it so that I’m enjoying the process, rather than stressing about last minute things.
I always want to put my best foot forward, I want to be all there, and I want my whole heart to be present in everything that I do. I get it, sometimes it’s hard to live in the moment when you’ve been dreaming about something for so long and it’s finally coming to life! But I know that I need to focus on the present while slowly planning for the future, rather than pushing forward too quickly and carelessly. I want to give it all I have, don’t you?!
So instead of running or maybe even hiding, let’s learn to slow down and do it all on our own time. I’m cheering you on every step of the way! If you are taking leaps instead of steps, start trying to reach those small steps and see if that helps you get out of that overwhelmed mindset. Remember, do things on your own time and give it your all! Sending you snowy kisses!
“A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” John 10:10
Sometimes my Dad decides to send a family group text and include his morning devotion. August 25th, my birthday, he sent this message to us. I saved it on my phone because it was strangely relatable to a lot of conversations I’ve been having with friends lately. I used to try doing the morning devotional routine, but then I figured out that I’m 100% not a morning person and I would just fall back asleep after 30 seconds of reading… maybe someday I’ll get there. Lately, I’ve been finding that a lot of my spirituality comes out in my writing, so here’s an unexpected message I thought I would share with you all.
“If you are not experiencing love, joy, and peace, you have settled for less than what God intends for you. If you have been making excuses for why you are not experiencing an abundant and joyful life, determine today to settle for nothing less than God’s best for your life. Stop following the world’s way of finding satisfaction. Instead, listen to the Savior’s voice, and you will find true fulfillment.”
Your 20’s can be weird, right? Once you’re out of college, it’s like………… huh? What is life? Or maybe you’re still finishing college, or maybe you decided not to go to college… either way, it can feel weird. Overwhelming interviews, figuring out where to live, the pressure to do this and that, finding what you’re meant to do, comparing yourself to friends, deciding whether to get married or not to get married, discovering everything you dislike about your job or where you live, feeling alone, feeling confused, and feeling unfulfilled. This doesn’t just go for those of you in your 20’s of course, but I’m 25, so I’m speaking from my point of view and based on some of my experiences.
I get all of these feelings and obstacles, and I think we ALL do to a certain extent. Most of us have been there, done that… if not, it’s going to happen sooner or later. These struggles last longer for some more than others, because we are all different no matter how close in age we might be. I’ve been hearing the same thing from friends over and over. To sum it up, they’re feeling unfulfilled and they know there is more for them somewhere out there- but they don’t know what, when, where, or how to get there!
It’s easy to feel discouraged when you’re confused about what you’re doing, where you’re living, or maybe even who you’re with. Maybe this means it’s time to find your courage and make a change. Or maybe this means it’s time to simply look at your life differently. Whatever it is that needs to happen and whatever you are confused about, does not have to lead you to feelings of unfulfillment, sadness, or anger. It doesn’t mean you can’t be joyful and thankful throughout the process. It does not mean you should settle for less than what God has intended for you. Let’s try to not make excuses and, instead, open our hearts to an abundant life. Instead of listening to the world and what society says, take a moment to listen to the silence. Be with yourself in peace and listen. You will find your answers and you will open the path to living an abundant life.
Eli and I love Trevor Hall- there is a peaceful and calming feeling that comes over us when we listen to his songs. His “Chapter of the Forest” album is especially our favorite. One of my favorite songs on the album is “Green Mountain State” and it says “there’s a way, there’s a way. there’s a way…and there is always.”
There is always a way. Always a way in and a way out. Choose joy. Choose fulfillment. It can take time and effort, but just remember that you are intended to live an abundant life.
If you enjoyed this post, you might be interested in some of my other blogs!
I mean like really hard. I’ve always had a strong work ethic and I’ll always be that way. I forced myself to be this way a long time ago and now it just comes naturally… it’s a part of who I am. I give my all in everything that I do.
There are those people we all know: the ones who easily succeed in school without having to lift a finger or open a book… and then there are the people who have to try extra hard to make it through… that was me.
Elementary school- I literally couldn’t learn the times tables no matter how many times my teacher jammed it in my head. Middle school- I actually couldn’t comprehend a single thing I was learning. High school- tutors on tutors on tutors. Math, science, history… it was all a nightmare. That left me to English/Writing, Music, and Arts… those were the only subjects I felt confident in. Obviously, I succeeded more in the creative field- where I (happily) am today.
Back then I thought I was a failure, and that I would never get a good job because I felt so stupid. Really? Stupid? That wasn’t true by any means, but that’s how the school systems can make you feel when you aren’t learning at the same pace as the majority of students. I, of course, was blessed with the typical loving parents who always told me how smart I was and how amazing I was doing in school, but I knew, truly, that it wasn’t my strongpoint and I struggled with that.
I wasn’t stupid, and I’m not stupid, I just learn differently. There is nothing wrong with that. Knowing this, I had to work extra hard at everything I did. I was so hard on myself, especially when it came to tests. I would bawl when I came home with a bad grade– not because my parents were upset… they were proud of me because they knew I worked hard — it was because I gave it my all, and I still didn’t see my hard work pay off. Yet, the person beside me could miss class for a week and text through every lecture, and still receive a better grade than me.
Taking the SAT was a nightmare. I took them twice and my scores were terrible, both times. Sadly, I didn’t get to experience the excitement of being accepted into the college of my dreams, like all my friends did. I experienced something way different. I was embarrassed, distraught, and felt totally alone. I had to accept the fact that I had to stay at my childhood home during what was supposed to be my freshman year of college and attend a community college instead. It just wasn’t what I pictured. Most people think of community college as a lesser thing, so I did too. I was in a really dark place and on top of that, I was diagnosed with Still’s Disease after being in the hospital for a week. I was on medication that gave me bad reactions and I was going through a healing process with my body.
My friends were all leaving for college, while I was dealing with illness, depression, anger, and, truly, I didn’t even want to leave the house. As it turned out, staying home and going to community college was honestly the best possible experience for me and it was exactly where I needed to be. I learned so much about myself, about my work ethic, and ways to succeed through college. I was determined to succeed and would not stop until I got accepted into a four year university. After two years of working my butt off at the community college, I was denied by the school I had my heart set on, but I was accepted into two colleges- VCU and ECU. I took a chance and chose East Carolina to study Hospitality and Special Events… thank the Lord I did or else I would have never found my great friends and my amazing husband. It all happens for a reason, friends.
I have never worked harder in my life for the Bachelors Degree that I received from ECU in 2014. Even after transferring from a community college, I only graduated one semester behind. I have never been more proud of myself for getting through college. It is SO rewarding to finally receive a degree knowing all of the stress, tears, and struggles that I went through along the way. I somehow found a path through the biggest challenges, but I believe it had a lot to do with the thousands of prayers I sent to God. I proved to myself that I could succeed, and not just succeed, but do it better than I ever thought I could. ECU gave me the biggest blessings at just the right time in my life.
Three years down the road, here I am owning my own business and succeeding more than I ever dreamed I could. I’ve been given the greatest opportunities thus far by working for some of the best people I know. I was given a gracious chance to prove myself and what I had to offer. I have been blessed with incredible experiences in many different areas. I have been inspired, encouraged and taught by amazing women in the creative industry.
This is where I belong. I can feel it and those who know me can see it. I get to use my best skills every day: organizing, planning, creating, coordinating, collaborating, sharing my heart, inspiring others, and working really really hard every day to improve and better myself. I wasn’t meant to remember and talk about history, or understand science, or work with numbers. The schools may not have planned for that, but looking at my life now, I couldn’t have it any other way. All I needed to do was put my best skills and my accelerated work ethic to use and now I truly feel that I can create anything I desire. A lot of people don’t have those skills, and that’s okay because they’re using their strengths to do big things.
I was meant for this field and I will succeed in it.
Here is some advice for anyone who feels they might be a little like me… This is your life, be who you are meant to be. It is your duty to prove your worth- work hard to get where you want to go. Nobody else will do it for you, only you can make it happen. There are so many opportunities out there for you. Some jobs might require a Masters Degree or some employers might look down on community college, but just know this… It only takes one person. It takes ONE person to see the real you, to believe in you, take a chance on you, and trust you. You might get denied a lot and leave you feeling worthless and harsh on yourself, but do NOT give up.
I’m telling you now, there is a place for you and it’s waiting for the right moment. It’s all in your hands. YOU can define your own success, YOU can decide what’s best for you, YOU are in control of your own life… nobody else is. So remember, hard work and dedication will take you anywhere you want to go in life. It’s not about being book smart, it’s about believing you can do anything and making it happen. If you’re trying, you’re improving. If you’re failing, you’re learning. If you’re changing, you’re growing. If you’re seeing all of this and continuing to work hard, you are succeeding. The money isn’t the reward in the end. The rewarding part is whatever is truly important to you.
Keep dreaming and follow your heart.
First step? Write down your weekly and monthly goals. Stop dreaming it, and start living it. I want you to feel empowered and inspired, because I believe in YOU! If I didn’t have my little support community through school, I would have given up and I wouldn’t have the happiness that I have now. If you need that support, that kick in the butt or a cheerleader, you let me know. I’m here to help and I would LOVE to hear from you. It’s time to hear the encouragement you need to get you on the path you deserve for yourself. This is much more than a career, it’s your happiness and the fulfillment of your life. Discover yourself and be exactly who you are meant to be.
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” – Mother Teresa