Live in the Moment

Summer is fast and furious for me… a senior, wedding and family photographer.  Some might call me “just a photographer” but it’s not like that… not at all.  My seniors, brides, and families invite me into their personal lives to share their very important life milestones.

If I was “just a photographer” then I wouldn’t get this lump in my throat as a dad walks his daughter down the aisle to hand her future over to a young man that can’t possibly love her as much as he does…

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…or when I see endless tweets of last season’s high school seniors packing their cars to head off to college. Who is going to feed them, protect them, love them?

Live_In_The_Moment_Blog 4 Being a mother and daughter myself, I can feel both sides of the fence.  I remember how excited I was to marry the love of my life. But, I remember my dad asking me if I was sure I was ready.

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I also remember packing my car and heading off to college.  I was SO excited.  But, I also remember my parents driving off without me.

The funny thing is that we all know it’s coming.  At the start of our senior year, or the beginning of your engagement, we know where we are headed.  If we prepare properly, then we are ready.  It’s the way life goes. Ready or not, it’s time.

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As summer is winding down, I continue to share these life milestones with my families. I’m technically “just your photographer” but, really I feel more like part of your family.

So, from the family member who is on the outside looking in, my advice to each one of my 2016 seniors, parents of 2016 seniors, brides, grooms, parents of my bride and grooms, and now my 2017 seniors and their parents…

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Live in the moment! Take it all in and enjoy every second with your loved ones.  We are exactly where we are supposed to be.  Thank you for including me in your family!

Do you know someone who needs a professional photographer? We’d love to be part of your family too.

The Plano bridal show was perfect.

Texas Tradition PhotographyWe had a really fun time at the bridal show yesterday.  And when I say “we” I mean the future owner of Texas Tradition Photography and me.  My daughter is just 11, but she has been my sidekick since she was born. She has had a camera in her hands since she was about 2 and has been doing odd jobs in the studio with me forever.  Up until now, her responsibilities have been stamping postcards, shredding important documents, sorting dance school and team photographs and cleaning. Although I have been teaching her Photoshop and Lightroom, I don’t allow her to work on client images.  She always practices on personal images or copies.

A couple of years ago, we had the opportunity to photograph a friends wedding which was outdoors, so I gave her a camera and she followed me around and actually captured some really creative images.  Although I was proud of her professionalism and creativity, she was still a kid.  Ever since that wedding, she has been asking to come along with me to shoot “real” weddings.  I told her I just can’t take her.  I gave her a time limit of high school. I told her when she reaches high school, I will take her on some more important shoots.

Well, I bought this really cool customize-able app for my clients.  I decided to create one for the bridal show and give it to all the potential brides. Well, this involves loading it on each bride’s phone.  Once I set it up and got it all ready, I couldn’t figure out how to save it on the home page of the phone.  And of course it is different for i phones and androids.

Linzy can into my office and asked me why I was frustrated, I told her and she said, here mom, let me try.  Within two minutes or less she had it figured out. She looked up at me and said… “I guess you  have to take me to the bridal show” BRAT! So, that is how my 11 year old, wormed her way into my bridal show booth.  But, I will say, she was professional and pleasant and we had a lot of fun.

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Choose your professionals wisely

Last week one of our smoke alarms in our house started beeping. Unfortunately, it was the only smoke alarm in the house that is in a place that is unreachable to a regular home owner. So… My husband and I went to Loews and purchased a REALLY big ladder. We loaded it up in my Tahoe, tied a red flag to the end (because it was sticking WAY out of the back window), and drove about 20 mph all the way home.

Once we got home, unloaded the ladder, unwrapped it and leaned it against the wall. We realized exactly how high it was.  We looked at each other trying to decide who was going to go WAY up there and change the battery. I decided to go. I admit it, I was SCARED! It took me a few minutes to get up the courage to start my REALLY high climb. Once I got to the top, I changed the battery and… dang it, it was still beeping. I took the battery out, turned it around and put it back in and… yep it was still beeping.

Just like with any other married couple who has been listening to a beeping smoke alarm for over 24 hours, my husband was irritated and told me that I didn’t do it right. It’s a battery. How did I do it wrong? Anyway, I came down the ladder and my husband went up. He was up there for a VERY long time because no matter how HE put the battery in, it kept on beeping!

Our conclusion was to call a professional. This is the advice that I give all my brides. You must use professionals for your wedding.  And not just your photographer, but also your consultant, your florist, your DJ and/or band, your bakery… yes, all of them. If not, you might end up working WAY too hard without achieving the result you were hoping for.  AND you will probably spend more money in the long run.

But the story isn’t over. Once we got the ladder wrapped back up, loaded back into the truck, drove 20 mph back to Loews and returned the ladder, it was another 2 days before the professional we called could make it out to our house. Our pre-requisite for this professional was that he had a really tall ladder and could change a battery in a smoke alarm. We didn’t think that was too hard.

Boy were we wrong! This guy showed up on time and was professionally dressed for an electrician. Good Start. I showed him the smoke alarm (and he could hear it beeping). Without even unloading anything from his truck or evaluating the smoke alarm, he started telling me about a year long program that they had for continued service. It was only $9.99 a month and would entitle me to get all the batteries in all the smoke alarms changed once a year. Then he walked around and looked at all the other smoke alarms in the house to “evaluate” them.

A little while later, he came back to me with a quote of well over $1000. I was speechless! We just needed one battery changed on a smoke alarm that we couldn’t reach. I know that smoke alarms are important!  We have had a house fire before. So, I had him call my husband at work and have him explain to him why it was going to cost much. He hung up and my husband called me on my cell and asked me if he had even changed the battery yet.  I said no, he hadn’t even taken his ladder off his truck.

I’m sure that a professional electrician can’t make a living changing smoke alarm batteries, but in my experience, it’s best to earn someone’s trust and business BEFORE trying to make them a client for life.

I guess the moral of the story is, not only should you choose a professional, but make sure you research that professional first and make sure they know exactly what kind of service you are looking for. Some people want a whole new smoke alarm system and some people just want their battery changed.