what if…

Over the weekend, I found out some really exciting news! It was so good, in fact, that I started jumping around the house, fist pumping and squealing! I couldn’t believe it! You see, a few months back, I went to a workshop put on by the fabulous duo known as “Justin & Mary” in Connecticut. Almost the first words out of Mary’s mouth when I met her were something like, “we just got back from this conference…it was life-changing”. She explained that she and Justin had spent a almost a week at this conference dreaming up and planning big things…things that would forever change their life. I thought, “where is this conference, and how can I get in on this?!” She then mentioned that the next one was going to be in Portland! I basically made up my mind right then and there to go…how could I not, afterall…it was LIFE CHANGING!

Shortly after I arrived home from their workshop, I looked in to this conference (known as the “What If Conference“) put on by another amazing husband and wife photography duo, Jen and Steve Bebb. I had every intention of going, but as I’ve said before life sometimes gets in the way of life… Alas, I realized I only have so much to spend on continuing education each year, and well, I’d spent mine…”It probably is life-changing,” I thought to myself, “but my life can wait to change…they’ll have another one soon enough”.  And then, I just kind of gave up on the idea…I put the whole thing out of my mind.

In June, Justin and Mary announced they were holding a contest in conjunction with the What If Conference. I excitedly, and (probably a little too hurriedly) entered the contest by writing a short description of what my life might look like if I dared to dream… if I were allowed to ask the question, “What If…”

Fast forward to this weekend… Saturday morning, I checked my work email (I don’t like to make this a habit on weekends, but I do anyway because well, who knows…maybe I’ll get an email that’s life-changing?”) and saw that Jen Bebb had written to me…to tell me I had won the contest! I was going to be able to attend the What If Conference…for free!!! (insert excited squealing, and happy dance here!!) In case you’re having a hard time visualizing how I feel right now…here you go…

You see, when I spoke with Mary back in February about this conference, it wasn’t just the fact that she said this conference was life-changing, it’s that since then, for Justin and Mary and several others who attended, it was life-changing. They literally wrote out their goals and then MADE. THEM. HAPPEN. This conference creates a space where you are allowed, no encouraged, no FORCED to dream big…to ask the big “WHAT IF?” and then puts you on the path to making your dreams and goals a reality!

I firmly believe that when we allow ourselves this kind of space to think and breathe…we open ourselves to all possibilities. Oftentimes, that is what conferences are for…to free yourself from the everyday, to think differently, and maybe make a few tweaks to the machine. But, what happens after the conference, usually ends up being a very different reality. You achieve maybe 1/100th of what you set out to do. Not because you’re a failure, but because…well, life gets in the way of LIFE!

This conference, the leaders and attendees, from what I can tell, give you the space to dream big, but then hold you accountable after you leave. How remarkable would that be?! What if that truly were the case…a community of people coming together to support you in making your biggest, craziest dreams come true? What if these dreams become realities? That truly would be life-changing, now wouldn’t it?

Here’s to dreaming…and then doing!

{ ♥ ♥ ♥ }


{Walk Through A Wedding with Justin & Mary} {Leavenworth Washington Wedding Photographer}

This is definitely one of those posts where I think, “Where do I even begin?” So, I guess I’ll begin in the most logical place–the end. It was 10:30pm this past Sunday night when my new friend, Kristin and I finally left Justin and Mary’s home in New Haven, CT. We were the last of the Walk Through A Wedding workshop attendees to leave. We didn’t want to leave, we wanted to soak in all that Justin and Mary had to share with us. They on the other hand were done…over it, you could tell…they were sick all weekend and it took everything in them to give us the workshop they had promised…one filled with detailed technical advice; inspiring and well-researched knowledge on how to stand out in this totally saturated wedding photography industry; all while opening their home to 18 earnest and hard-working professional photographers.

As we gathered our things and made our way to the front door, I made some small talk about how I hoped they had a great time this next week in Las Vegas at WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) where they will be speaking again this year. But, what I wanted to say was,

“Justin and Mary, you have made a choice in your life to become the best you can be at your craft. You have dedicated yourselves these past few years to being the best in the industry and you are. But you didn’t do it for yourselves, even if you sometimes think you did. You did it for your clients. You did it because you knew that if you could hone your skills and put your whole self into this, you would come out on top because that’s what your clients deserve. But you didn’t stop there. You took all of your skills and you decided…”other people could benefit from what we know” …and you were right. I came away from this weekend learning actual, actionable, specific knowledge that I can put to use immediately. You didn’t mince words. You were real. You made me want to be better…not for myself, but for my clients. Just saying, “thank you” doesn’t feel like it’s enough. But, by putting into action what you made the choice to share with me this weekend, I hope that will show you how thankful I am for you.”

I didn’t say that of course, cause saying those kinds of things in person can be hard. And, well…I’m pretty long winded, so we would have been there all night.

I learned something from each and every person that attended the workshop as well. Each of these amazing individuals has such a big heart and they shared it this weekend. I am so grateful for them! I flew into Boston to visit my friend Beth, her husband and their 1-year old…Lucas, whom I visited last year just after he was born..remember this guy?

So, I was lucky enough to bum a ride from attendee Kristin! I loved getting to know her and bounce ideas off of, especially on the way home, when we were both brimming with new ideas and the post-workshop high!

It’s an intense feeling and I must remember that I won’t necessarily feel this excited, or energetic, or inspired all the time…but at least I know now that when I need someone to talk to, I have 17 new friends who have been there and will support me as I go through it.

We spent most of Saturday shooting our “Buckles & Burberry” themed wedding and here are some of the images that came out of the day…

undefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedSpring and Silas, our models are a real engaged couple who will be married in July and guess who’s photographing their wedding? Yep, Justin&Mary!

The event was at: Chamard Vineyards

Hair and makeup by: Lindsey & Karie from Like Flutter For Lashes

Flowers by: Market Flowers

styling was by Julia, Justin & Mary’s amazing team member

with props by: Heirloom Exchange

{my heart is full}