Well, I have been doing a lot this past week……a lot of thinking….a lot of big, deep breaths, a lot of cleaning in the garage, and subsequently a lot of trips to the Goodwill! January is notoriously the month where I take a big, giant deep breath and enjoy the fresh start of a new year! I also purge!!!! You know what I’m talking about…….those cabinets, those drawers, those closets, those shelves. If I don’t use it – and it doesn’t work for me – it’s out of here!! Cue the most perfect time to be part of a life changing workshop called RESTART!!
That’s right….those girls up there (some new friends and some not so new)…..they are AMAZINGLY talented and true, real, kind, smart, fun ladies that I am BLESSED to call friends!!!! Breaths of fresh air! There were about 33 of us…..every person I met last Wednesday, totally breaths of fresh air. Really, guys, I feel so grateful to have met you and to experience this with you!
You may recall (since I have sort of been talking about it nonstop since my return) that back in November, I attended a super amazing photography workshop in California (click HERE for a reminder)! Jasmine Star is a fantabulous, amazing, kind hearted, funny, smart, sassy woman! Oh yeah – and she just happens to be one of the BEST wedding photographers EVER (please click HERE if you wanna be wowed)!!!! Her workshop was indescribable and was about photography, but SO. MUCH. MORE!!!!! I’m not exactly sure how I was lucky enough to have been blessed to experience her amazingness twice in real life – but I’m not asking and I’m just assuming that the universe landed me right where I was supposed to be!!!!!!!! COUNTING.MY.LUCKY.STARS! I was selected to be in the live audience for RESTART. And it was everything I could have imagined and more. I’m not lying when I say that the past two months have been crazy-fabulous! Excuse my caps and exclamation points, by the way, but I have to!
I sometimes get flooded in overload mode with how much input has gone into my brain the past two months!
And just a little back-story…….Lauren Oliver Photography is about a year and a half old now. By day I’m a counselor – so when it came time to name my company – I knew I had to be mindful of my profession (which I don’t intend to leave). I didn’t want to be so easily Googled. LAUREN and OLIVER are my kids’ middle names….thus the name! When I launched my bus, I had this blog….and that was it. No Facebook page, no website. I was scared of it all and how I would juggle my family, my career, and my photography business. YIKES! Just ending my first full year, I’m amazed at how it has grown and I had the best year full of families, and weddings and loved every second. Am I still sort of freaked at the ongoing challenge of balancing my full (but super fun) plate! YES! Does it stop me? NO!
Anyhoo – when I got back from the November workshop I was sure about a few things.
1. The people I met (you know who you are) are 150% amazing and I am forever connected to them all.
2. Branding…..those words that you want people to conjure when the hear your name…..I knew exactly what my words were. NOTE…… I worked on them for about 6 months – this was not an overnight deal. They changed and evolved many times over!
3. I realized that my brand could be summarized in 3 words….but truly those three words are ME!!!!!!!!
4. I needed a website!!! Done and launched on 1/2/13 (check it out here LAUREN-OLIVER.COM)! EEK!!!!
5. Facebook business page needed! DONE! (Facebook page here!)
And now RESTART. It’s a 3 month deal. It’s all about developing your brand, growing your business, being you, connecting, social networking, the whole business end of things (uh, yes, work in progress here)!!! I have much to learn, much to implement and I have met so many totally cool people! These kind of experiences change you forever!!!!
My brain sort of hurt just typing that paragraph up there.
But its all necessary!!! I will never leave my day job – its a part of me and honestly it makes me the photographer that I am. But, I will streamline my business, market for what I want and be the absolute best I can be at what I do.
As I’ve dealt with my Facebook hangover this week and processed a lot of what happened at that workshop, I always settle back in to my three words…..what makes my business what it is….and what is me!
I’d like to share it in images tonight! The words are in my heart…..and they come through in everything I do….my work, my marriage, my friendships, my parenting. Really, it’s just ME!!!
So I thought, tonight, I’d just share me. My family, my kids, my awesome clients…….
You know, I turned 40 last month. I still feel 31 (yes, this is the year I had my first baby)…I think time stopped for me then. OR, I’m just super exhausted and delirious and quit paying attention to things like age!!! I realize that life is short. The impact we leave on others is what will last a lifetime!
Whenever I choose pictures to post….whether personal or from a shoot…..these are images that touch my heart……images that make me melt just a little….or a lot!
I hope you enjoy. Someday when my kids look back on this blog….I hope they feel “seen”! And my goal always as a photographer – I hope my beautiful clients always feel “seen”.
I cannot believe we have two more months of RESTART. My mushiness may become unbearable!
Throw in an episode of Parenthood and I’m TOAST!!!!
This January – is such a fresh, new, restartable time for us all!
I wish you a happy Tuesday!