The Value of Community {ShootProof Podcast, Atlanta, GA}

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Back in September, we were surprised with a trip to Atlanta by one of our favorite companies in the whole world ShootProof, to participate in a few fun interviews, photo shoots and gathering. While there, ShootProof graciously allowed us their platform to talk about how we feel about the industry and community. 

Candid and honest thoughts are expressed over on the ShootProof podcast and we are so thankful for the opportunity to have open dialogue!

If you want a fresh perspective - go check it out and leave feedback and let us know what you think! 

You can listen to and subscribe to the ShootProof Podcast by clicking here: goo.gl/etxCpU

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Why BLINK? {Tacoma Wedding & Portrait Photographers, Tacoma, WA}

BLINK!  has been somewhat of a mystery to folks.  A new dynamic movement with a lineup of fantastic names with no real purpose or identity, to some, but to me, BLINK! is the result of many "no's" turned yes. Every year, photographers have a line item budget for learning.  We all sit around waiting for that perfect learning opportunity that will give us the take home items we need and will make us feel like we found the answer to all of our photography trials.  The problem is that many times, in order to spend those dollars we have to compromise key components that might be valuable to us, whether that is the speaker(s) or lack there of, the location, the amount of attendees, the costs, or the lack of real life practical teaching that we can actually be applied.

Personally, it has been challenging for Ike & I,  as photographers to relate with the industry at times because of the lack of diversity among our industry leaders.  There is so much talent but oftentimes the industry chooses to put those who are more familiar forward more consistently and many up and coming artists from different backgrounds who could provide a new and fresh perspective are overlooked.

Instead of cursing the industry, becoming unsettled and apathetic, we decided to take action, thus the idea for BL!NK was born.

The vision behind the BL!NK Conference was to create a conference situation that reflects the photography community ethnically, a place where a photographer could come and learn from a variety of talented photographers (both industry leaders and up-and-coming photographers) as well as, provide an intimate hands on learning environment (maximum registration is 50 people)  that allows for true connection and diversity, a boutique experience for the thriving photographer.

Everyone pauses.  Everyone blinks to clear his or her eyes for a new perspective and vision.  The concept behind this conference is to stop, to take a moment and refresh, to re-think some ways of doing things…

Conference will take place over the course of 3 days, 2 nights at the Aloft Nashville Downtown in Nashville, TN.

Friday,  November 1st will kick us off with a mixer and LIVE MUSIC in the the XYZ Lounge of the Aloft Hotel.

Saturday, November 2nd you will have the opportunity to hear from all speakers:

 

Zach & Jody Gray:  "How to Avoid What Most Small Business Do - Fail"

Named one of Nashville, Tennessee’s top wedding photographers in 2009, Zach and Jody Gray have quickly gained national recognition for their imagery and business savvy in the wedding photography industry. They have hosted numerous highly successful photography workshops in the states and overseas, and have been invited to speak at WPPI, Imaging USA, and SWPP in London. Their images have appeared in various publications including People, Southern Bride, and PPA Magazine. This award-winning couple has also been named by Westcott as one of their Top Endorsed Pros and are a part of the exclusive SanDisk Extreme Team.

Did you know that 80% of small-business fail in five years?  Within TEN years 96% of small-business fail.  Listen to Zach & Jody share how to set up your business so you can defeat the statistics and avoid becoming a small-business casualty.  While most photographers are statistically on track to fail – learn how to do what most photographers don't – WIN.  Become a part of the winning percent!

 

Dawn Davis: "Taking the Business Out of the Wedding"

"What can I say?  I'm a blessed girl.  If you would have told me back in April of 2005 that I would quit my job as an Accountant and become the Creative Director of a business with my husband, and that we would have the most amazing clients that make "ME" cry when they look at the work we've created for them, I would have thought you were crazy!

BELIEVE would be the one word that I would say best represents what I am about.  I believe in ME.  I believe in my husband, I believe in our family.  And I deeply believe in our dear Lord.

I have sat in Oprah Winfrey's kitchen, been to Paris to photograph the wedding of Eva Longoria and Tony Parker.  I have designed some of the most incredible books for Forest Whitaker, Maya Angelou, Tyler Perry, Oprah, and of course Eva.  And most recently, Bob & I had the honor of photographing & designing for ABC's TV show The Bachelorette Ashley's wedding to J.P. in Pasadena, California.  I pinch myself everyday.  Every single day!

I don't say this to boast, I say this because I believe!  I believe that if I can do this, so can you.  You can live the life you want you just need to believe in yourself, work hard, and move in a positive direction.  Why not DREAM BIG?  I do...!!!

I want so much to see you succeed.  I'm here to help!  I enjoy sharing my knowledge and passion.  And I look forward to meeting you!"

"Tired of watching your competition excel in the industry or book a lot of weddings because they are under cutting your prices? Lets talk about how you can take the business out of the meeting and become more successful. The strategies that I will sharing with you are not costly, they are obtainable, and they work!  I can't wait to see you all in Nashville."

 

Audrey Woulard: "Photographing Children! Mastering the Connect"

Audrey's road to professional photography was simple…she began documenting the honesty in her children's lives. With a natural talent and a plan to keep it simple, she photographs exclusively with natural light, both indoors and out. She works on location and in her 2,200 sq.ft. studio in Downtown Chicago.

In addition to her children's portrait work, Audrey also photographs high profile commercial assignments for clients, such as Pottery Barn Kids and IAM's pet food. She also conducts workshops at her studio for photographers across the world, and she's written a book discussing her approach to natural light photography, entitled "Natural EnLIGHTenment Photography."

"After being in business for 11 years the one thing I've is a very solid return client base.  I haven't marketed since 2006 and that is because I've mastered the connection."

 

Joshua Dwain: "Storytelling & Creative Engagement and Wedding Photography"

Photography is what I love to do.  I’m blessed to photograph wonderful couples who help fuel my creative pursuit.  I love to take photographs. You may call me, eager, passionate, spirited, or even fervent. The simple fact is I truly love photography.

"The key my talk is about NOT about magically being a creative wedding photographer, but giving you the tools to begin thinking differently so that you WILL be creative, becoming better at what you love doing so that you can seperate yourself from the pack."

Alejandra Vidal: "The Power of Motion Storytelling"

I was born with blonde hair and English was my second language.  Though I might argue that talking with my hands was my first language because I never seem to speak without using them!

 I lost myself in books as a child. I wore my pink leotard to bed and fell in love with films like E.T. I found inspiration everywhere. Lucky Charms cereal box. Perfume bottles. Lace. I'm not very different now. I have always been a story teller. I'm captivated by color, texture, emotion, and curves. These elements are different in everyone's story. When combined, similar to taste or smell, they trigger a memory.

 And that... well, that is what my makes my heart yearn: To share the emotion and memories of your story through my cinematography. To celebrate you.  My hope is to inspire you to have self-love and imagination by embracing your individual style and building the confidence to exhibit it. 

 I'm blessed to have a husband who encourages me each day. His faith in me motivates me to take risks -- to allow myself to make mistakes but keep moving forward."

AND FINALLY, us!

Ike & Tash Haynes: "The Street Team: How to Build a Loyal Senior Model Program That Generates Income for Your Business"

We are a husband wife photography duo based out of the Seattle Tacoma Area.  We have been wedding and portrait photographers since early 2010 and have been working our niche market in the industry since then. We are well connected in our area and leaders of many community groups and forums online.  We have been published in Junebug Weddings, Munaluchi Bridal, Life & Baby, Senior Style Guide and a few more to come!   We started offering mentorships in late 2011 and   it was in offering these mentorships that we were able to identify disparities in the photography education among photographers. We recognized the shortage of development in diverse communities and on the speaking circuit, which led us to the solution we call, BLINK!

Connecting to the youth voice and vision can be challenging, staying up on trends and what is popular to ever-changing population of young people where “here today, gone tomorrow” has become “hot for a minute and on to the next,” can make it tough to build a senior model program that sticks and garners the excitement you need to keep your business growing and going. We are going to introduce you to our Street Team concept & the process of how to build a loyal group of young people who not only represent your business, but also inform it.  

Sunday November 3rd:  will include 2.5 hours of on - location shooting with the speaker of your choice ( 1 and 8 ratio - which makes it PRETTY hands on) , along with more focused workshops in the afternoon around legal forms & contracts, marketing & branding and Lightroom Post - Processing and workflow.

Registration includes all meals and training materials, as well as single occupancy complimentary hotel for the first 30 registrants (of which, because of a sponsor, there are still a few available).

Registration for BLINK is currently $995 until September 30th of which it will increase to $1195.

If you are looking for a something new, a fresh perspective -hands on, intimate experience to learn and grow your business from some of the most talented people in our industry BLINK is definitely for you!  YOU do NOT want to miss it!

For more information about BLINK visit the website here.

Check out the BLINK PROMO video here & SHARE!!!  Video by the very talented Alejandra Vidal of Imaginale Design!

 

 

Stylized Session: Candyland Wedding (Pursuit 31) {Tacoma Wedding Photographer, Tacoma, WA}

I have the joy of being a part of a beautiful photography community called Pursuit 31, a Christian community full of woman who like me are in LOVE with pictures and anything surround the creative process really.  The last couple of years I have had the complete honor of leading a group of Seattle ladies both in online forum as well as in person and a couple of years ago (I know, I know... I have been meaning to blog this for a while now) I called up Karen, creator and founder  of Pursuit 31 & suggested a Seattle retreat & the crazy idea of a wedding based around the children's board game "Candyland." I am ALL for the vintage wedding trend that has OVERTAKEN today's wedding industry BUT I am in love with BOLD bright colors.  As a child, the game "Candyland" always was my favorite because of the mysterious stops along the board, Candy Castle, Gingerbread Plum Trees, Molasses Swamp, the Peppermint Forest.... and all of the really amazingly delicious iconic stops along the board.  It was my favorite game, and I couldn't get enough of it.  Daydreaming of bring it to life as a stylized wedding was truely a dream come true and WE LOVED the outcome.  Brides, if you want to have a really amazing wedding and wow your guests, take a look at some of the fantastic details below!

Bride & Bridesmaid Dresses~ Ouma 

Floral Design ~ Paisley Petals

Cupcakes ~ Sweet Melody’s

Model Styling ~ Rok Kandi

Hair ~ Lockes on Location

Makeup ~ Anna Groves

Tables, Chairs, Place Settings ~ AA Party Rentals

Linens & Lounge Furniture ~ Trendy Event Rentals

Umbrellas ~ Bella Umbrella

Picture Frames ~ The Organic Bloom

Fabulous Catering for Style Team, Models & Attendees ~ Joeseppis Catering

We also couldn’t have done it without these fabulous people!

Thanks to : April Greer, Dawnet Davis, Isaiah Haynes for helping make this day such a success!

More HUGE thank you’s to our FABULOUS models for braving the cold and rocking out these photos for us!

Models: Latasha, Donovan, Aubreeana, Danielle, Joe, Prince

These AMAZING companies deserve HUGE thanks!

Black River Imaging

ThinkTANK photo 

The Organic Bloom 

Pixel 2 Canvas 

Showit Fast

Black Rapid 

MadiLu Designs 

Our 2011 Year in Review: Highlights {Tacoma Wedding & Portrait Photographer)

2011 has been a CRAZY year full of really fun and exciting things.  As I worked on this post I was amazed by all the things Isaiah and I had accomplished.  You forget all of the things you can jam into 12 months until you take a few minutes to reflect.  Today as I was going through our pictures, both LHP related and personal- I was so thankful to be in this business.  The business of capturing memories.   You  never realize all that can be lost... I am so grateful that I ALWAYS have a camera next to me, whether a iPhone, point and shoot, Polaroid or my D700- nothing gets missed.  This post some of our favorite things that happen this year.  Most photographers get together and pull their favorite pictures as a recap- BUT I thought it would be more fun to spend some time reflecting on moments, events, people who impacted and taught us throughout the year.  There were so many it was hard to narrow it down- so before we go into the key moments...  a few special mentions: 1.) Our dear friends The BGP made it on America's Got Talent and we got the opportunity to do a pretty funky and hipster-like photo shoot for them as promo.

2.) We hosted our very first mentorship, Justin from Austin.  It was a 2-day intensive session and was so amazing.  It has been a joy watching Justin's business take off and we are so proud of what he's accomplished.

3.) We became PUG (Pictage User Group) Leaders- and been holding it down in the south end.  Its been soooo cool getting together monthly to learn and host photographers new and old.  We love our little community and are honored to be able to lead.

4.) We did two book covers this year, a novel for author Molly Venzke called "Caged" a MUST read and "I Love This Thing Called Parenting," my our amazing pastor Wendy Treat.

5.) We designed and ordered our first wedding album to show to our clients! #winning

6.) We moved into a house.

7.) We shot our first of three destination weddings last season in Virginia!  It was amazing.

8.)  We visited the tulip fields.  (Trust me, this experience was noteworthy).

a mix of mine and Isaiah's FAVORITE highlights-  a few of them below, in no particular order.

Stellar Weekend & The Misfit Tour:

This year started out SOOOOOOOO well as I travelled for the first time to Nashville, TN for Gospel music's Stellar Awards.  While I was there I had the opportunity to shoot and meet some pretty amazing people.  The cool thing about Stellar Weekend is that its jam packed with events and everyone goes- so you get really close to some of your favorite gospel artist and you meet people who later become some of your favorites.  I heard the most amazing music, ministries and saw some pretty amazing performances that weekend.  It was also  inspiring to put my gifting to work and to shoot artists, like the one's below in such a cool way.  Fast forward 10 months and I got the opportunity to try again when the "Misfit Tour" came through Seattle.  One artist in particular, Mali Music, who is one of my favorites was at Stellar Weekend and on the Misfit Tour- it was so cool to see the progress in my shooting from January 2011 to October as I had the opportunity to shoot him at both locations.  I discovered my love for concert photography and hope to go on tour with one of my favorite artists one day.

Melinda Watts & The Dream Girlz Gathering:

Melinda is such a gift to me.  I could not have paid God for a better sister and I am so thankful.  You know those situations when you have no words to describe the impact that someone has on your life?!  Melinda for me is a "no-word-moment." I will forever be thankful to God for the blessing of our relationship.

Its hard for me to put into words how much The Dream Girlz Gathering mean to me, so I will keep it short by saying simply this.  Everything that Dream Girlz Gathering stands for- is everything I believe that God has made me to do.  I am so thankful for Melinda's vision and heart for young girls and women.  She is a visionary and her passion is inspiring.  The work of The Dream Girlz Gathering to build, inspire and teach young girls so blesses me and continually blesses me.  I had the opportunity to direct GLAM (Girls Leadership and Mentoring) Camp late this fall in partnership with Melinda in the Poconos Mountains and that experience alone changed my life.  We spent 3 days with 67 girls and about 15 or so staff just loving on eachother, learning about God and building each other up.  In those three days, I got a greater understanding of the power of God, who He is and what we can do.  The GLAM Camp experience has changed my life and I look forward to an amazing 2012 Tour with the DGG team.

Evening Magazine's King 5 Best of Western Washington: 

When we first started the business, we joked about how we REALLY wanted to make this list.  We know its a popularity contest and does not in any way dictate the strength or skill of your business, but its a list that in this area is kinda cool to be on.  It was VERY cool to after 1 year in official business to rank in the TOP 10.  To King 5, top 10 means nothing as they only promote Top 5, but to us- it meant the world! :)  Here to next year!

The Garner Wedding:

The Garner wedding represented for us what we prayed every wedding in 2012 would be for us.  Fun, exciting, happy, well planned and full of love and friendship.  Annie found us online in late summer 2010.  When she asked us to shoot her wedding in winter of 2010- we had no idea how close we would become and what a HUGE deal it would be.  By the time we got to Annie & Aaron's wedding day, they had become our closest and best friends.  We spent the weekend celebrating as a extension of the family.  It was a thrill and a joy to be a part of their wedding day and we enjoyed watching our dear friends get married.  It meant so much to us to do a good job- and that is the feeling we want to have during and after every wedding!

"Film is Not Dead":

Literally... and its not dead at the Haynes residence. Isaiah took it up, purchased a F100 and went on his way.  He has gotten quite talented and enjoys street shooting when we aren't doing portrait work.  He even got featured on his favorite film site "Film is Not Dead" for a "Alice and Wonderland" inspired senior session we did.  I am uber proud of him for taking photography to the next level.

We got Published:

In addition to Isaiah's features, we found ourselves on a few other REALLY cool blogs.  Its always so humbling to be asked to share your work on someone else's blog|forum|website. I always read those emails over and over trying to figure out if they got the right person.  Its a honored to be featured as a part of someone else's platform and we are SO thankful to those photographers who loved our work enough to invite us to share.

LHP Class of 2012 Street Team:

This year, we did away with senior reps and started our Street Team.  Our group of "reps" who sale the brand to their friends.  They are our business partners, our arms to the community- and these AMAZING 12 kept us VERY busy this fall.  With their help, we photographed more than 50 seniors the latter part of 2011 and we are so thankful for who they are and what they represent.  They are a talented, athletic, giving bunch and we are so excited to see them through to graduation next Spring.

Where in the World is LHP??!:

We were so blessed to shoot all over the country this year traveling to the states below to shoot weddings, concerts, maternity sessions.  God was faithful that even in self-employment He made it so we never sat still.  Seeing this country and meeting people is something that is VERY important to us.  We are so thankful that we had such an adventurous first year in business.

Tasha & Moses:   Our very first photo session of 2011 was with Tasha and Moses.  Tasha had just returned from 1 year in Africa and I knew very little about her except that she was stunning, could sing and was deeply in love with her boyfriend Moses.   While in South Africa, we connected online about photography and talked about doing a fun session when she and Moses returned for Christmas.  Little did Isaiah and I know that we were shooting their engagement session because few months later, Moses asked for her hand.  This moment that started our year, also helped end our year, when two weeks ago, Tasha and Moses asked us to be their wedding photographers.  We are soooo thrilled to be starting our 2012 wedding season with their special day.  They represent every thing we love about photography (as I mentioned above) love, friendship, energy and excitement.   I am personally thrilled to have the honor of capturing and telling their wedding story and am so thankful for the opportunity.  Tasha and Moses are 1 of 6 amazing couples that we get to rock with (as of now) for our 2012 season and EVERY SINGLE one of them is so special to us.  Their love stories are so unique and we are excited to add these couples to our family.

Do The Extraordinary:

I have always dreamed of being a part of fashion. I never knew the camera would bring us this route.  Do The Extraordinary is AN AMAZING athletic apparel line with purpose.  When we were asked to shoot this clothing line... the concepts, the ideas, the vision... I was immediately terrified.  It seemed WAY too big, way too much and full of more talent and ability then I thought we were capable of.  Justin, DTE's visionary and genius- convinced me that LHP had what it took- and after 4 months, we finished 9 different shoots for this amazing story.  Below- a few samples, outtakes of our different adventures.  I can't say much about what we did and how we did it.... but when I can talk, trust I'll be singing.  You can check out DTE at their website or visit YouTube to check out their amazing stories... or search this blog by entering "Do The Extraordinary" in the search box on the home page.  You will NOT be disappointed.  P.S.  LHP totally Do(es) The Extraordinary!

Our very first WPPI experience:

WPPI was an experience of a lifetime.  It, much like the Stellar's, had a tremendous impact on our lives and our careers.  We learned so much and continue to apply the things we learned from our workshops, our photography heroes and our colleagues.  Meeting people that you only see on TV or read about in magazines and watching them dominate their craft is inspiring and pushes you to be all that you can be.  I am so thankful for my WPPI experience and we are so excited to send Isaiah back this year.

The Wedding Preview Event:

We participated in our first wedding show this year.  It was so much fun because it had a non- traditional twist.  There were a total of just under 50 vendors and of those 50 were three teams.  We had the opportunity with 400 brides and grooms in the room to put on a mock wedding and show what we could do in real time.  Our team chose to show the toast and cake cutting of the wedding and acted that out with full on bride and groom and everyone (blog coming soon).  After the three teams performed, brides and grooms walked the room getting to know vendors.  Since the event we have booked 2 weddings and gotten tons of recognition. It was fun and a great investment.  We look forward to participating next year.

and last but not least

Pursuit 31: "Candyland Adventures" 

I got to co-host, with Karen Stott, the Seattle Pursuit 31 Retreat.  I had the crazy idea of bringing the board game of Candyland to life for a inspired bridal shoot and to my surprise, Karen thought it was amazing too.  We went to work with ideas and inspiration and on the day of the session rocked it out!  Karen is rocking the Pursuit 31 mission, teaching women how to pursue their dreams and have a family, modeled after Proverbs 31, and is hosting her first ever conference next year in the dirty dirty.  I am so excited for the things she is doing and feel honored to call her my friend.

As I quickly write this blog, as not to bore you with all of our crazy adventures, I am reminded that last year at this moment- I was working my last day of my job. I had no idea what to expect and kept waiting for failure to rear its ugly head.  No plan, no real financial stability, just a hope and a promise that the call that I thought I heard on my life was real- to go after the vision God has put in my heart, to quick my job- and to hope that my plan to apply at Starbucks in March of 2011 would fall through.

As I write this post I am in awe of the things God did.  We stayed busy.  Our needs were met. He never left us.  I would have NEVER guessed that these 12 things would have happened for us. I would not have imagined, but they did.  I have no idea what 2012 holds.... but I am certainly excited.  Happy New Year everyone!  Dream BIG!!  and as my friend Fahren puts it " Go, go go and don't look back"  that's what we'll be doing.  Hab 2:3

#TAKEOVER- "Why I should go to Pursuit 31-Seattle Retreat"- Heidi Pratt of Glimpse Photography

Thanks to the beautiful Latasha for lending me her blog so I can enter this contest…. Dearest Silas,

My love, my husband, my business partner, my best friend.  Thank you so much for all you do for the business and me.  You know I could not do it without you.

You selflessly put in hours and hours to help me out, while still working a full time job to support us.  Hours on end with me at sessions and weddings, after working long hours at the office.  I cannot express to you how much I appreciate all you do!

I know at times, our quality time suffers because I am always working, but I promise I will find a way to figure out the balance, and I will find people who will support me in that process.

Just picture it – One day you will not have to go into work anymore, because your work will be with me.  Our photography business supporting our family and us.

But I know I cannot do it alone.  I found a retreat through my Pursuit 31 group.  It is a retreat of women who are going to address these very issues.  Though we cannot afford it; I am determined to get myself there.  I will do everything I can, because this – our marriage – is a priority to me.

Thank you, my love, for believing in me.  You are my biggest fan, and I love you.

Heidi

….“So if you love photography, but you are tired and trying to figure out a way to make the workload and your regular life make sense again OR you want to spend more time with your husband and grab hold of balance again, This retreat is cut out just for YOU!” – Latasha Haynes

As you can tell from the letter to my husband above, my life story is paraphrased by this sentence by Latasha.  My passion is photography, and like many of us, I am struggling to find time to balance family with work.  And I have so many business questions that I could use hands on help with.

My love for photography began back in college when I stumbled upon an elective class – photo 101.   I instantly fell in love with it!!  Of course, back then it was still film, so when I decided I could finally invest enough to open my own business my world got rocked!  As you could imagine, I had to completely relearn my craft in the digital realm, and am still learning.  It has been a difficult journey, but one that I am proud to say, I am pushing through.

My husband has been an integral part in that process, as he has been my teacher.  But as I continue to grow my business ,I struggle to find time for anything else, especially him.  My marriage is a priority to me, as I am sure it is to all of you, so it breaks my heart to struggle to balance the two worlds.

This retreat is just what I need.  As my business is finally starting to grow, I need some help.  Not only with details of how to balance it all, or help with the business questions; but also the relationships.  I cannot tell you what it would mean to me to be able to attend this, learn from those willing to share, and build relationships that would build me up along with my business.

Unfortunately, I have yet to figure out how to make a profit though my work has increased.  It always seems that I need something else, or need to attend a conference, and that leaves me empty handed.  I am determined to attend this retreat one way or another, but right now, I just to do not have the funds.  This spot at the retreat could change not only my business, but my life; and I would be so blessed if I won!

If you haven’t heard about this retreat, check out their site here…

www.pursuit31.com

and more details  click here

Blessings,

Heidi Pratt

Glimpse Photography