I started this year off with a meltdown.
It had built up for some time…probably since October. Between Halloween costumes, traveling for the holidays, and Christmas shopping…ALONG WITH running a business and running my household, I seemed to lose control of my sanity a bit.
One of my goals for 2013 is to create a blog that I’m proud of. And yes, I love writing about my children and I love writing about my fantastic clients…but I also want my blog to be more than that. I want it to be about me. My life. And obviously, my life isn’t always pretty and perfect. Sometimes, my children are monsters. Sometimes, I feel like the a failure. Sometimes, I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing and I just want to rip all of my hair out and scream forever.
That’s what this post is for. I want to purge all of my self-doubt and all the bad, and bring the GOOD back in.
I have an amazing life. I have two amazingly wonderful and healthy children. I have a husband who loves me so much and who does everything in his power to help me..even if it means that he has to come home and watch the kids and make dinner after working for 10 hours all day, just so I can go to my Pilates class. We live in a great town that I adore, and even though I don’t have the cutest apartment and the nicest furniture, we always have everything we need. And finally, I have an amazing job. I may not be this super awesome rockstar photographer (yet), but I have worked really hard to get where I am…and this year, I have already received more wedding inquiries/bookings than I ever have, thanks to my wonderful friends/family and colleagues.
So Alyssa, when you’re feeling like the biggest loser/failure/jerkface, remember everything that you DO have and focus on that. And if that doesn’t work, then maybe this will.
and of course, these little faces help, too!
Kelly and Justin decided to go a little unconventional with this entire wedding. And of course, if you know me, you know that I loved every second of it! Rather than do the traditional “getting ready” photos, we decided to do a “pre-wedding” photo shoot (think “mini engagement session”!) with the bride and groom.
Obviously all weddings are special, but this one really hit me! Justin is in the Army and had been away from Kelly for some time. The wedding took place after he had only been back for about 24 hours! Not only that, but this was the last time they would be able to see a lot of their friends and family because these two newlyweds are starting their new life together in New York.
The wedding took place at a little coffee shop called Back to the Grind in Downtown Riverside (during the Festival of Lights, which was AWESOME!). It was the perfect venue for this intimate ceremony! This coffee shop is a regular hangout spot for Kelly and her friends/family, since they are all lovers of books and art (and coffee, obviously). Back to the Grind displays new artwork from locals and they never have a shortage of books on the shelves!
Kelly is a bit shy, and I could tell that getting up in front of people was a bit nerve-wracking for her. But as soon as they made their entrance together, all of their friends and family stood to their feet and clapped for them. It was such a wonderful moment, and I could tell that it immediately put Justin and Kelly at ease!
I loved every second of this wedding! Thank you so much Kelly and Justin. Good luck in New York! And another big thank you to my wonderful friends Tara and Erin for hiring me!
I mentioned in my “Keep Moving Forward” post that I was thinking about posting my 2013 goals. Well, I decided to stop being a chicken and just do it! Sure, at the end of 2013 there’s a chance that everyone will be able to look back and see how hard I failed…but regardless of what happens, I’m going to learn. I am only 24…I have my entire life to achieve these goals. And I’m going to keep trying until I do!
1. Blog more. (a 2012 goal that I didn’t meet. giving it another shot!)
2. Shoot 10 weddings. (2012 goal retry)
3. Buy a 35mm 1.4 lens (2012 goal retry)
4. Shoot more film.
5. Shoot for FUN. I noticed that in 2012, I didn’t really shoot for fun anymore. I need to get back to that!
6. Get more features on blogs.
7. Write an album. I grew as a musician/singer in 2012, and I’d really like to keep that up!
8. Write a musical. Actually, this is more of a “life goal”. Haha.
9. Get back into my workout/healthy eating routine. I really fell off the wagon when Ian was deployed and I haven’t been able to get back into it…I can definitely notice a difference, too.
10. Use “off-camera flash” skills more. I noticed in 2012, I hardly used my OCF knowledge even though it’s one of my favorite things to experiment with.
11. Create a blog/website that I’m proud of.
12. Be adventurous. Try new things!
13. Read more.
14. Nest! Everywhere we have lived has been a “temporary situation”. Well, four years later and I realize that I have never been able to “nest” even though I’m dying to!
15. Get in front of the camera more!
16. Learn to play One Winged Angel on piano. Maybe this is ambitious for only one year, but I’m pretty sure if I practice enough I can do it!
17. Schedule more “me time”. It’s harder than it sounds. Especially for mommies!
18. Schedule more “me and Ian time”. Again, harder than it sounds when you have two kids! We started this new tradition where we have “coffee dates” as soon as he gets home. Since we can’t actually “go out” for coffee, we just sit down at the table and talk to each other about our days. Sure, sometimes we get the kids screaming at us, but it’s nice to have scheduled time just to talk to each other.
19. Teach Mal to play piano because he loves playing so much.
20. Learn a new skill. Anything!
I might add more to this later. I am actually really excited to come back to this in 2014 and see how much I have grown! Even if I don’t meet every single goal on this list, I am guaranteed to come out of it with new knowledge and experience.
I would love if you guys shared some of your 2013 goals with me! Seriously, let’s cheer each other on. This isn’t limited to just photographers or the wedding industry either! Friends and family, I want to hear your 2013 goals, too!
And of course, I have to include a Christmas photo! Sure, Mal has hot chocolate smeared on his face, and Leia has a mouth full of candy cane…but it’s the only way to get them to sit still for a photo!
After a nice long week in Nevada with my husband’s family, we are finally home!
Thanksgiving day was a lot of fun for us…but it was also tiring! Between cooking all day and chasing kids, we were all exhausted by the end of the day. But seeing how much fun my kids had with their family made it all worth it!
Instead of dealing with shopping and crowds on Friday, we all decided to go on a hike. I’ve never taken my kids hiking before, so it was really cool seeing how much they enjoyed it. If you know me, you know that I’m not exactly an “outdoorsy person”, but I really wanted to try since I know my husband loves spending time outside. And after seeing how much fun the kids had, I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to get used to it! (good thing one of my 2013 goals is to try new things!).
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Time to blast some Christmas music!
BONUS THANKSGIVING PHOTO!
This is the way Ian entertained all the kids while we made Thanksgiving dinner. NEWSPAPER FIGHT! He’s a cool dad/uncle! (he gets the photo cred on these, too!)
“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long.
We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things
because we’re curious, and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
- Walt Disney
Inspiration can hit us at the most unexpected times. I was watching Meet the Robinsons with my kids the other day. There is a scene in the movie where the main character, Lewis, child inventor extraordinaire, is forced to fix the Robinson family’s peanut butter and jelly gun. When he finally thinks he’s fixed it, they turn it on and the gun jams and peanut butter and jelly explodes all over the place. Lewis hides his face in shame and apologizes profusely. The Robinson family takes one look around and suddenly erupt into loud cheers. They explain that every time you fail, you learn something. From success, not so much. Failure is not a bad thing if you learn from it.
This was an interesting year for me. Last year, I set a lot of goals for myself to meet in 2012. And I did meet some of them. I upgraded to a full frame camera, I finally branded my business…I booked at least one portrait session a month for the entire year and I started branching out in Ventura and I met some awesome wedding vendors in the process. But there were also some goals that I did not meet. I didn’t shoot 10 weddings this year. I did not buy the lens I’ve had my eye on forever and I did not blog at least three times a month like I had planned.
I felt pretty down in the dumps for a while because things have progressed pretty slowly for me. I look at some of my colleagues and see how much they have grown and achieved this year, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t get jealous sometimes.
And then I realize how much I HAVE achieved. I have two children, and I have still managed to find time for my business, for my family, and more importantly, for myself. I think back to where I was last year, or even at the beginning of this year and I see how much I have grown, personally and professionally. Rather than beat myself up and think about all the goals that I didn’t meet, I am going to learn from it and better myself for 2013.
I have already started writing down my goals for 2013 (I’m thinking about posting them on here). Some of them are kind of scary, and I don’t even know if I’ll come close to meeting them. But I’m going to give it my all…and even if I fail, I am going to keep moving forward.
Hope everyone has a rad Thanksgiving. I’ll be out of town and probably out of touch for the next week or so, but I’ll be checking my email if you need to contact me.