Categories: Business & Photography.
Another couple of months and a lot of really wonderful bloggers to thank for sharing my awesome clients and their images!
I really and truly cannot believe it’s been a year since Making Things Happen in Chapel Hill. Wow, the places you go and the things that change in a year. Life is amazing and I still stand by Making Things Happen as a real turning point for me. You can read my Review here and my 6 Month Check Up here. They just opened registration for October, so I encourage you to head over and check it out!
The conference and the ladies who run it have this way of rooting these wisdoms in you that are awesome. Making Things Happen was more about focus, direction, and confidence for me than it was about finding the surge to take a big leap of faith to start something new, like it was for many. I think everyone’s journey is different, and for me, I did not leave there some entirely changed person. You have to DO the work. But what I’ve realized so clearly in the last year is that life is all one big chain of habits. And it takes a long time to change habits and to instill new, more positive habits in your daily life. I still have so much I want to change, but the habits that I have changed and the way my mind has been re-wired over the last year has been so great and it’s really so remarkable to me how much I can so tangibly see the differences.
Like I mentioned at the 6 month mark, one of the biggest things that changed for me was how I used social media. You see, the root of the issues here are all about confidence and comparison. So changing this has made all of the difference. My list of people I follow on Instagram actually gets smaller each week rather than larger. Please don’t be offended if you’re not included. I am just feeling more and more mindful about the information I allow into my mind on a daily basis. I have continued social media free weekends and come Monday, I actually don’t even want to check Instagram…it’s amazing :) I am still only using Facebook for my business and it’s been wonderful like that. And since these changes, I’ve realized how much more I’m growing to value my privacy. I really don’t want people knowing what I am doing all the time. My thoughts. What my daily life is like. Life is good…life is actually great and I feel so daggone fortunate, but I’m finding that there is SO much satisfaction in knowing that for myself and not needing to show it to the world or hear praise, compliments, or criticism. Because quite honestly, I live my life for myself and for my family and closest friends and I am perfectly content this way. There are certain things that are meant to be sacred and the world has become so accustomed to putting it all out there, so I get that it’s a bit unusual now. I also get and understand that not everyone feels this way and that is totally okay :) I still stand by social media being such a positive business tool and for that I’m so grateful and I’m always learning how to use it to apply more and more to my business, but personally I am so much happier with more boundaries. This is one place where I believe less is not more. More boundaries = less distraction, negativity, self-comparison, etc.
“Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.”
An area I am still struggling with is staying on task and making the most of my time in the office. I think this is something any self-employed person who works alone and from home is challenged with, though. I’m getting better about this little by little, but it is still challenging for me to actually log out of email so that I’m not checking it as soon as I hit a wall in whatever I’m working on at the moment. So that’s an area I still need to improve on, and I’m open to suggestions. I’ve heard doing focused work for periods of 90 minutes and then taking a break is the way to go, but does anything else work for anyone? I still get most everything I need to get done each day and I feel like I’m always busy, but, I know especially with it getting warmer, getting my work done sooner means more time I can spend outside doing the stuff that really fires me up or dreaming about/working toward some other exciting projects.
However, on the whole I feel so much more at peace with my focus and direction both in my personal life and my business. I feel more and more like my business is serving my personal life and not the other way around. My family and quality time with them grows exponentially more important every year, and I feel like I’m continuing to lay a slow and steady foundation that is keeping that balance in check. So now the goal is to just maintain and continue to grow as an artist and in terms of quality, not in the way of quantity. The amazing thing about MTH last year, too, was that it was the first year that the second day was all about business, and that was seriously so priceless. I feel like it’s really changed the way I think about my clients, my brand, my core, and I consistently see the fruits of that labor on so many different occasions and in many different ways.
“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”
My Making Things Happen Pinterest board is always a constant area of inspiration for me, and I really like having certain quotes in the back of my mind to keep me motivated and on the right track. I am just always so grateful that I took the leap and made the investment to attend MTH, and I’m so, so appreciative of the ways Lara, Gina, Emily, and the other guest speakers so candidly shared about their journeys. If you’re ever feeling stuck, like your day-to-day is not serving your life the way you want it to be, or that you’re just mulling along without purpose, I highly encourage you to read up more on MTH and the ladies involved. And of course, I’m always open to chatting more about my experience or answering questions about what MTH is about :)
Categories: Business & Photography.
Here’s another one of my “just for fun” projects…this challenge was to photograph an image that is predominately one single color. I’m loving all of this orange! PS. Go Tigers :) Sorry, couldn’t help it!
Categories: Business & Photography.
Hey guys! I am SO excited about today! This project has been on my radar for over a year now. Last year I knew that the next logical transition for my business was to have one singular internet home. I want people to come to one place and find all of the information they need…whether that’s more about me and my life, details on wedding photography, portrait sessions, to read or view full blog posts, to see galleries, to contact me, etc. And now it’s here! Last fall when I signed on for this commitment, it felt like a lifetime away. I was scared, anxious, and unsure of what this transition from blog to blogsite would be like. I’ve really grown a lot over the last two years, and my business has grown right along with me. I wanted my new blogsite to still feel like me…the country-loving, down-to-earth, photography loving girl that I am. I didn’t want it to feel like anyone else’s website, and I wanted it to have a true and authentic connection to my images.
I’m so happy with how Renee of Ribbons of Red brought everything together. I thrive on simplicity and organization, and the new updates feel streamlined and easily accessible. Gone are a zillion pages and information scattered everywhere on a separate website, and instead you see pretty navigation, beautiful slider galleries, updated graphic elements, and a big header image that I will be updating every couple of months. I also just had new headshots taken earlier this week, so I can’t wait to drop those into my new internet home, as well :)
I’d love it if you would take a peek around and let me know what you think. Renee worked really hard to bring my vision to life and she deserves so much credit for her talent and skills behind the screen. I purposely had not blogged much in the last month to kind of keep the traffic away during the live transition, and I’m so excited to get back on track and share what’s been going on lately :) So much fun stuff! But really…check everything out, play with the galleries, read my new updated copy, and keep your eyes posted for some fun blog posts coming next week!
Here’s to 2014 and feeling more passionate and dedicated to my mission and the road ahead than ever!
Categories: Business & Photography.
Last week was a whirlwind of editing my two Christmas weddings, but I’m excited to finally get a chance to sit down and recap on the last year of my little business. What a great year it was :) I get a little emotional writing these kinds of posts (so bear with me), because most days I really can’t believe this is my job and this is the kind of work that I get to do. I really feel that the job of a photographer goes outside of us as people…it’s bigger than us, and the slices of life that we forever freeze in time with our cameras are truly monumental parts of peoples’ lives. When our skin is wrinkly and our hair is gray, images are reminders of people, places, and years bygone, they are proof that love existed, they are feelings and moments that you can relive again and again long after our once vivid memories have slowly washed away. They become something so valuable the longer time goes on, these little pieces of us that are passed on time and time again after we are gone. Being able to be a part of so many wonderful couples lives, to basically be an extended member of their family for a day…it’s awesome. It’s a huge responsibility and a true privilege. I really love this work :)
In 2013 I crossed paths with so many new wonderful faces, and plenty of special familiar faces, too. I made new vendor friends, new photographer friends, new friends in my clients, met lots of sweet four-legged friends, and did a lot of traveling. I put over 28,000 work miles on my car. So a huge shout out to my ole SUV who has carted me all over the daggone east coast since 2007 haha! She’s a special vehicle and has been such a big part of my business! I shot 4 weddings in Georgia, 9 weddings in Maryland (but made 12 trips total), 1 in New Jersey, and 6 in South Carolina. I attended Making Things Happen in North Carolina…and it changed me so much. I strengthened friendships (both personal and professional), got pretty far out of my comfort zone probably a dozen times (and it always paid off), quit the Facebook news feed almost a year ago (one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!), cleaned house on the social media information I allow into my head (yay!), got in front of the camera of one my favorite photographers and now friends, and crossed some really great goals off my list. I shot a handful of rolls of film, and loved every single frame. I photographed 35 dogs in less than 6 hours and helped raise over $500 for the pets of the Aiken County animal shelter…annnnnd I felt it in my back until the chiropractor fixed me haha ouch. I second shot a lot this year, too, and am endlessly grateful to Paige Winn for being such a great friend, inspiration, mentor, and allowing me to share in so many of her client’s beautiful weddings (and crash at her house, and also oogle over her dogs and kid haha). And I defined my version of success and read some really powerful books.
In 2013 I also learned so much about why I do what I do and the purpose and mission of my business. I still struggle with it, but I’m becoming more confident in being different than the masses and listening to my gut rather than doing this, that, or the other because someone else is or because it works so well for X, Y, or Z. Because of all that I learned, I knew it was time to make some big changes in my “internet home” so I made the somewhat scary financial commitment to give my blog a face lift and convert it into my one central internet home for my business. I’m so excited to be working with Renee again starting this week and I look forward to collaborating with her to really mature and elevate my web presence so that it now matches the heart of my business and the style I’ve come to develop with my photographs.
2013 was such a wonderful year and such a year of growth, and I get so excited at the end of each year…about having the time to reflect on what worked and what didn’t work, to plan for the next year, and to craft a new set of goals. 2014 will be more about fine tuning and consistency rather than trying to continue to grow. I’ll always be growing as a photographer, business owner, and person, but I’m not looking for actual growth in numbers. As always, it’s quality over quantity for me. I’m really happy with where I’m at and just want to keep doing what I love and making people happy through the images I create and the emotions and moments that I freeze. I could never do this alone, though, so thank you to everyone who has ever assisted me on a wedding day, believed in me, cheered me on, supported me, encouraged me, shared or featured my work, or given me a pat on the back. A special thank you, of course, to my husband for never telling me to “get a real job” back when he probably wondered if I could really make a career out of this (haha), and for always listening to me whenever I need a ear. He never fails to tell me how proud of me he is or to recognize how hard I work. Thank you to my mom for giving me the means to make this business happen in the first place and for passing on her love of photos to me. And a huge thank you to her (and my brother a time or two) for picking me up and taking me to the airport countless times this year, and for always giving me a place to stay and a car to drive when I’m back home for work. And most of all a huge thank you to everyone who trusted me this year…to everyone who got in front of my camera, hired me to photograph their wedding, or allowed me into their life for even just an hour or two hours so that I could create something beautiful out of their love or connection. I know this sounds like an Academy Award thank you speech or something…but I just honestly feel so humbled and grateful to get to connect with so many incredible people through this job. I love being a part of such raw and emotional times in peoples lives, and to create something tangible out of something you usually just feel. It’s amazing and I’m a pretty lucky person :) Happy 2014!
Hi! I’m Brittani, and I’m a South Carolina and Georgia wedding and portrait photographer. I’m also a wife, bonus mom, animal lover, and passionate about creating real, timeless, and romantic images that tell a story and are full of life. I’m inspired by light, love, the outdoors, and adventures with my family. Feel free to browse the blog to see more of my work, learn a bit about my life, and don’t hesitate to send me a note if you’d like to chat!