Wish Upon a Wedding…

Two years ago, when I was helping a photography friend start their business, Shine Pics, I first learned about Wish Upon a Wedding and immediately volunteered to be a Wish Granter – before Houston even had a chapter! I was so thrilled to learn that there was a non-profit devoted to granting the wishes of a couple facing terminal illness or special circumstances that might not be able to have a wedding otherwise.

Last year I was contacted by the Houston chapter and asked if I would grant a wish for Alexis & Christian. I didn’t hesitate for a second to tell them yes – and I’m so glad I did! Alexis & Christian are just the most amazing people, and spending time with them together makes my heart sing. If you don’t know them already – you should. Make it happen.

Shortly after their wedding I learned that the Houston Chapter had board and committee openings. I applied to be the Marketing Chair, and after a review by the national & Houston boards, my application was accepted! I’m so honored to be giving back & helping to spread the word about this amazing, wonderful group!

Now we need YOUR help!!!

- Know a couple facing a terminal illness or a special circumstance? Learn more about how to apply to have your wish granted! This is a REALLY BIG ONE – we need to get the word out to help people! We need YOU!

- In the wedding industry and want to volunteer to be a Wish Granter? All the details for you are here. (DO IT! It is the most AMAZING experience to give back!)

- Interested in helping out with the board or being on a committee? The details you are looking for are here. We need you!

And last but not least? Come on out on Thursday, April 12, 2012, for the Second Annual Tacky Wedding Pub Crawl benefitting Wish Upon a Wedding! Open to *everyone* – dress in your tacky wedding finest (or not!) and join us as we go from pub to pub on White Oak in the Heights! Tickets are $10 until 2pm on Thursday afternoon, and $20 at the door – get yours here! Prizes, laughter, and good times are waiting for you!

Heights Gratitude…

It has been a busy week around here. I traveled with Elaine up to Brenham to photograph Catherine & Rich’s wedding. Something in the air beat me up pretty hard, and I was down and out with allergies on Sunday. I had spent the night on Saturday at my parent’s house since it was closer to Brittany and easier to hand off the memory cards to her there, and spent much of Sunday there too as well.

As I was driving into the Heights on Sunday night, I had a familiar feeling. I was taking the same route I always used to take to my former studio before we moved. Southbound on I-45, exit N. Main, take right on to N. Main and an immediate left on to Pecore. It really hit me as I sat at that light at 11th & Studewood, where I used to turn left but now I go straight.

I am home.

After all of those years of wishing we lived in the Heights, after all of those days that I dreamed and lamented that my house was 40 minutes away, I’m here. I live here. It is my home. It is the first time I’ve ever really felt like Houston is my hometown. After 25+ years, that is saying a lot.

I’m so grateful that I had to note the feeling. It could have just been the allergy drugs, but I don’t think that was the case. I’m just so happy to be home at last.


In case you missed them, here are some other recent posts I’ve made…

Learning How to Dream…

I attended a workshop earlier this year with Jeff Jochum of Startup Strategy all about Selling to the Millennial Bride. Ironic, because it was during this workshop that I first said out loud how I want to focus even more in 2011 on working with moms and showing them how beautiful they truly are through my boudoir photography. It had nothing to do with brides for me in the end.

Later that night, Me Ra Koh came and joined us for dinner and a more informal chat afterwards. (I wrote about all of this before in my workshop review post.) Somewhere late in the evening, she suggested that it was important to dream big. Like crazy big. REALLY REALLY BIG. Dream about what it was we wanted to be doing in 10 years. Dream HUGE. Crazy dreams, as if you had no limits.

I realized later that night, I don’t know how to dream big. Not that big, not on that scale.

Or maybe I do, but the voice inside just tears the dream down before it can fully form. Either way, I can dream short term – a year, maybe two out. When it comes to business, I can launch an idea fast. But I can’t always see the great big picture. I don’t know how to dream on a huge scale.

I’ve always struggled for years with the fact that if I make plans and then it doesn’t work out, I’m really distraught over it. It is why I’m not a big planner in my social life. Have plans for 3 weeks from now on Friday? Eh, I don’t know. Maybe. I might do something. This isn’t a good thing. I know this.

I’m learning more and more how important having solid, concrete goals are – having them written down is even better. Next up? I want to learn how to DREAM BIG. Like super big. I could change the world big.

A few weeks after the workshop while I was in Asheville, NC working with Regina Holder and photographing weddings at the Grand Bohemian and the Biltmore House, Jeff Jochum sent me a direct message via Twitter. It was in response to a conversation that I really don’t remember anymore. Doesn’t matter. What hit me was his message to me.

He told me that I underestimate myself. I cried as I realized he was right.

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. So now I’m putting it out there. My goal for 2011 is to learn to DREAM BIG. Then to hone & craft my dreams. To stop talking and start doing. I’m constantly having small dreams, little ideas come to me constantly, and I talk myself out of them. I’m either too worried that someone else is already doing something similar, or I just don’t have enough time to focus in on where it could really go. I don’t honor my dreams. One step I decided to take towards this goal today was to sign up for the Mondo Beyondo class in January. I’m pretty super duper excited about this!

That is actually just one part of my learning how to dream big plan – I’m also attending Jeff’s Biz Clarity II workshop in Denver next month. I attended the workshop in Houston last month, but I hit upon such a big breakthrough half the day that it sort of rocked me off my tracks. I decided that attending Biz Clarity II will help take me into 2011 on a stronger footing then if I did it alone. (Think that it sounds like something you could use? The December class is full, but Jeff said that January still has spaces available.)

Interesting thing about all this dreaming – I think everyone has the power to change the world, even in some small way. I guess it is time to learn that that “everyone” includes me as well.

I’ll be in Denver, Colorado and have times available on December 17th for boudoir sessions. If you or someone you know would like to set up a boudoir session while I am there, please contact me through my photography site and we’ll get it all set up!

Mondo Beyondo Dream Big

Sydney & Chris – Married!

Sydney & Chris's Wedding

My dear friend Sydney came back to Texas to marry Chris, and Elaine & I had the honor of photographing their wedding for them. It was an incredible, wonderful day. I gushed a lot more about it over on the wedding blog, but I couldn’t let it pass without posting here too.

I first met Syd right before SXSWi 2003. Well, to be accurate, we actually met on a street corner in Austin – she recognized me from this blog and stopped Mike & me as we walked to the convention center. I’ve always known she is an incredible woman – and when we met Chris last summer while on vacation in Seattle, I knew he was perfect for her. I know they will have a fabulous life together – and I’ll be reading all about it on her blog, Twitter, Flickr, and any where else that I can go to keep up with her adventures!

Sydney & Chris's Wedding

It was such an amazing day!

Brooke’s Bridal Portraits!

Brooke's Bridal Portraits - Houston, Texas

I posted last night about Brooke’s Bridal Portrait session in October over on the wedding photography site. While I’m trying not to double post everything over here as well, it is important to note that with this wedding which took place on Saturday, we’ve now wrapped up the 2008 wedding season! Whoo hoo!

The total rundown of the year is below. [Read more...]