✨Daydreaming about this gorgeous spring light 🌞✨! We keep getting glimpses of sunlight and warm days and I’m so. ready. for it! Fall is my favorite season but spring is a very close second!
Happy Valentine’s Day (& Happy Birthday Oregon)! 💕
What are some things you do everyday in order to take care of yourself? While taking a break from this insta over the last few weeks I was very intentional about where I spent my time online and offline. Doing that helped me see that I really don’t have a very good work life balance. I thought I did, but nope. I thought that because I have days to focus on work, days to focus on Macy, and evenings to spend time with Ted, that I had figured out a good balance. But I didn’t realize that somewhere in the hustle I forgot to take time for myself. Not just time to relax, but time to refresh my soul. Because even when I was taking days off or going on trips, I’d come back to work and still feel exhausted. And even though I was supposed to be spending time away from work, at the back of my mind I was always thinking about all the business tasks I felt like I was neglecting. February felt like the perfect time to start taking care of me again (it’s the month of love, after all), so I set a goal to make time for self care everyday. I have a list of a few things I can do that help care for my mind, body, or creativity each day, but I’d love to hear your ideas too! Some things currently on my list are: meditate, do yoga, go for a walk, practice calligraphy, read, etc. What’s on your list?
Who else has seen the Taylor Swift: Miss Americana on Netflix!? I was surprised at how much I related to the emotions she spoke about. I mean, I’m just little ol’ me trying to run a successful small business. And she’s world famous. So I didn’t think our experiences could be that similar? And really, I was just watching for a behind the scenes peek at the biggest -d r a m a- of her career. But so much of what she said felt like the emotional experience I’ve had running this business. There’s one particular scene where she sums up her struggles by saying when you’re living for the approval of strangers, and that is where you derive all of your joy and fulfillment, one bad thing can cause everything to crumble. - I mean, dang. I felt that to my core. I’ve been running this business for 4 years, and working on photography for 9 years. And I’ve -s t r u g g l e d- with overcoming that thought process the whole time. Sometimes I’m really good at remembering to put in the work to find joy and validation within myself, rather than seeking outward applause. But sometimes, and especially lately, I get so caught up in the hustle that I forget to take care of me. I forget to separate how I feel about myself from how I feel about how successful this business is. I forget to refill my cup after putting my all into this. And it’s so tempting to just put up a wall, pretend everything is okay, and close myself off from anything that reminds me of my vulnerabilities. But just like Taylor, “I want to still have a ... thin skin and an open heart.” - Because that’s where the magic happens. Being vulnerable and connected allows us to truly document the most special moments of our clients’ lives. Not just what’s happening, but what’s being *felt.* - I have so many more thoughts on this but I’ll leave it here: People don’t talk enough about the emotional hardship of running a small business, let alone a creative one. It can feel lonely and embarrassing to struggle in this way when everyone else seems to be doing just fine. But I think it’s so important to share this stuff. And if you’re going through this too, I just want you to know that I see you, and you’re not alone.
ANNOUNCEMENT— It’s not a secret that running a business full time is hard. I’ve shared a bit in the past about how this business has challenged me emotionally in ways I never expected. I have always struggled with separating myself from how I perceive the success of this business. When it’s doing well and we’re reaching our goals, I’m doing well, but when things aren’t going how I want, I struggle with reminding myself that I’m more than this. Sometimes I’m better at staying grounded in myself, and other times I get lost in the hustle. A huge part of that for me has to do with social media. We all know the struggles of social media. It’s a highlight reel, it’s not real life, it encourages constant comparison and makes us feel less than when we only see the best of other people’s lives. Running a business where our main source of advertising is IG has really compounded that for me. And I realized that I just need to take a step back right now. January is usually our biggest booking month, and even though I feel like what the business needs is for me to double down, work harder, and do more - I also know that doing so is the opposite of what *I* need. We will be taking a break from Instagram and Facebook at least for the remainder of January. We’re still taking inquiries, so please email or get in touch via our website if you’d like to work with us for your 2020 or 2021 wedding! But mostly we’re looking forward to connecting in real life, off of a screen, and using this time to refresh before our summer wedding season.
A few intentions for 2020... More: Photos of our family and day to day lives Self care and self affirming thoughts Adventures and quality time Choosing the things that make me happy (like these bright orange high waisted pants that I was worried I couldn’t pull off, but make me feel ridiculously amazing) Less: Worry about perfectionism and fitting into the ideal Time spent plugged in Talking myself out of bold choices Saying yes when I want to say no Do any of these resonate with you? I’d love to hear your intentions for this year, too! . 📷: @stefaniebendt
Is anyone else thinking about the past decade and how much you’ve changed/accomplished? The past 10 years have been full of big changes for us: 2010 - I graduated high school and started college. Changed my major to art and started pursuing becoming a photographer. 2011 - Took my first photography class and photographed a wedding for the first time! 2012 - Ted and I met! 2013 - Ted and I got engaged and married, it was a busy year 😅. 2014 - I became pregnant with Macy 💕, quit school to pursue a photo business and didn’t look back! 2015 - Macy was born, we moved back to Oregon, and I officially started my photography business! 2016 - started learning film! 2017- 2018 were all about Ted getting through school while I worked on the business. In 2018 Ted graduated and we moved to Salem and started adult life for real 🤣. 2019 - The past year has been uneventful in terms of big adventures and life moments but it’s been so full of small accomplishments and memories, in business and in our personal lives. At times it doesn’t feel like I’ve really made it that far towards my goals. But 10 years ago, 17 year old me couldn’t even imagine that this would be my life and career! I was planning to go to college for early childhood education and I had no idea how much things would change for me. Looking back it’s crazy to see how far I’ve really come and I can’t wait to see what 2020 and the next decade have in store for us. Big or small, I know it’s going to be amazing! Where are you at now in life compared to 10 years ago? Have things happened how you imagined they would back then?
Get married √ Take amazing sunset photos √ Spend the rest of forever together √ Taylor & TJ’s wedding at Wilmes Hop Farm is on the blog this week! Head to the link in our bio to check it out. 💕
Flowers are an easy, eloquent expression of love at a time when words can seem clumsy and inadequate. ― Lynn Coady Way back when Ted and I were engaged, I made him promise to give me flowers once a month after we were married. He probably would have stuck to it too if I hadn’t developed allergies while pregnant. 🤣 But even though we can’t keep flowers in the house very long, I still love the sweet gesture and the meaning behind gifting a bouquet when words aren’t quite enough. 💕