SLL Shooting Wide Open // 2018 Love and Happy in Review!

Hello! Clients! Friends! Newlyweds! Neighbors! And extended community!

I wasn’t sure if I had the time to do this post… because I still have so much to edit and the shoots keep coming in hot, but I am so glad I made the time! It’s become a sweet annual tradition and it’s really healthy in the following ways:

  1. Gratitude. When I start to comb through the many many galleries, I am humbled beyond words at the number of couples and families that let us in to their precious experiences. A year like 2018 went by just too fast to really zoom out and appreciate the enormity of love we got to experience and receive. We are so so thankful.
  2. Affirmation. Looking back at all these wonderful stories reminds me that all that hard work trying to refine our mission, brand, and style has absolutely paid off. We worked with people we can genuinely call friends. We documented days that celebrate values we support. We were all heart eyes all year for all the choices we found both meaningful and aesthetically pleasing. We booked more of what we aimed to attract, and that is powerfully affirming.
    1. On this note, it is a reminder that we are good at what we do. I’m not saying that to toot our own horn. It’s super easy when you’re become a photographer by accident (see my bio for more info on what I mean) to constantly feel the weight of imposter-syndrome. It’s even easier when you follow several other rockstar photographers online. When I look back at all of this work, I am re-affirmed that we have to continue with this vision. Our technique, business procedures, and passion are all where they need to be. There were too many images from each day that I want to share. I am so at peace with our body of work.
  3. Motivation to blog. Now hear me out. I don’t blog a lot/enough. I used to let that weigh me down. However it is because I have so much on my plate already. You wear all the hats when you are a self-employed wedding photographer– you are the eye, the self-taught student, the writer, the accountant, the marketing team, the communications team, the social media coordinator, a friend and sort of planner for your clients, and so much more. That all being said, full narrative is our best form. I want everyone to see all the little moments and candids we deliver in addition to the instagram teasers. I also worry our site only represents 1% of our full body of work. So in time, I plan to back-blog and update soon.
  4. Appreciating the “personal.” In addition to revisiting client galleries, I also peak over at what I’ve saved from our casual and travel photography. Although it doesn’t feel like it now, we really did have lots of amazing personal travel. We had about 6 full weekends off together and we made them count. From Tulum, to Puerto Rico, Louisiana, New York, California, and back to Tulum… we went all over. We did not do nearly enough everyday/personal documentation and that needs to change.
  5. Empowerment. This year I was able to enlist in the brilliance of 5 talented womxn to help with shooting and editing (one of them including my grown up baby sister). In addition, I got so much feedback from clients saying that I made them feel safe, emboldened, seen, and that they left their time working with me feeling more confident. Now that kind of feedback is something that I am really effing proud of.
  6. Seeing the opportunity and need for change. A time to reflect, when you’re honest with yourself, also leads you to see opportunities for growth. Most changes I will be making will be subtle. And I know that all of them are the kind of policies clients will go “okay but duh” if I were to lay it all out. But here are just a few that need to happen. Because while I EFFING LOVE what I do, this operation must be sustainable. And when I make the rules, but don’t make them to help ME do better… well that just doesn’t make sense. So here are a few of my ideas. *Imagine Dua Lipa’s “New Rules” playing in the background*

Pressure’s officially off for editing an insane number of previews. When the volume of shooting is high, I need to be more reasonable about how quickly I can comb through an ENTIRE day to deliver the highlights and especially before I’ve had any opportunity to rest/reset. I went overboard with this because I am genuinely SO excited to share, but it throws my whole flow off and like anyone else, I need a recovery window after the very physically and demanding work of a wedding.

Weekends are weddings, rest, and hanging with my tiny family only. Most clients already assume this (and I could kiss you all for the many times you insisted on a weekday meeting/session). And we need our time together when we can get it. Being full-time means weekends are rare and Sundays (and hell even that following MONDAY) are necessary for me to chill the f out. So, that’s now officially company policy. Thanks for everyone that helped me get to this conclusion despite an earlier version of me insisting that it was okay to work 7 days a week/365 of the year. Oh and moreover, some weekends will be protected without explanation. The load for portrait sessions will change based on volume, but it is unlikely I can accommodate any more than 1 or 2 midweek.

I am an active body before I am an editing machine.For about 1/4 of this year, I gave up my workouts almost entirely to keep up with editing and delivery windows. And that my friends, was a horrible idea. I am at my best when my physical activity is a passion I can celebrate. I need my yoga practice to keep me limber, strong, and stretched. I need dance for the release it gives me when the pressure is on. I can give more to my work when I have a body that has been nourished and restored. If I ever fall behind, I PROMISE to communicate with you as I always have. But gone will be the days, weeks, and even months where I’ve skipped my personal hour to make sure that gallery lands when it was supposed to. And I promise, I’ll be an even BETTER version of myself to be of service to you because of it.

Shew! That was a lot! If you read all that, THANK YOU. I hope I still have your attention and that you’re sticking around for the incredible love and life we’ve captured this year.

Owning this business nearing a decade has been a beautiful, wild ride. 2018 was no exception. Buckle in and enjoy the feels.  





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