Monday Lovin’: Summer Photo-Focused Goals

And just like that, it’s another Monday! However, if you happen to be a teacher in the NE Ohio area…this Monday is EXTRA special because IT’S SUMMER BABY!!!!!!! As a result, today’s Monday Love is going to be dedicated to all things summer:

Images courtesy of Pinterest

Images via Pinterest

WOOHOO!!!!! :) :) :)

Now, while I’m super-loving the fact that I’ve already read 2 books, seen a movie, been to the beach twice, photographed two sessions, and not thought about a single lesson plan (wait that’s a lie…I already have notebooks for each of the courses I’m teaching next year & have LOADS of ideas for ways to make my second year of teaching even BETTER than this first :) :) ),  the MAIN thing I’m lovin’ about this whole summer thing is the ability to COMPLETELY focus on this little ol’ business of mine!

If you’ve been following along, you already know that I really started making things official back in March. Looking back on it, I definitely can see that that probably wasn’t the ideal time to begin blogging & website design & logo design & all the other branding / business parts that I dream about pretty much 24/7; however, I knew I needed to just take the leap. I kept telling myself to wait until summer, to hold off on it, but then I realized that it wasn’t really teaching that was keeping me from diving in. It was fear. And ya know what, I was tired of letting FEAR keep me from doing what I love — tired of insecurities telling me I wasn’t good enough to be “legit” — tired of listening to all the million excuses my little brain loves to make!

And ya know what? It’s been really GREAT! Yes, it was a little crazy at times, but I knew that going in! Balancing teaching 180+ high schoolers with STARTING A BUSINESS is a lot!!! So yes, I am definitely loving this chance to be an almost-practically-full-time photographer for the next 10 weeks, and you BEST believe that I am going to take advantage of every single little moment I have :) And in order to make sure I do, I am going to share my to-do list with you all and give you updates along the way! So, here goes nothing! This summer, I’m loving that I will get the chance to:

  • organize my business finances with awesome cute files and folders :)
  • improve and standardize my workflow
  • become an LLC officially
  • blog 3+ days a week and have an internet presence 5 days a week
  • purchase a new external hard drive
  • meet and network with other NE Ohio photographers

And, last-but-definitely-not-least-because-I-am-SO-STINKING-EXCITED:

  • LAUNCH MY NEW BRAND!!!!!!!

Guys, this is what I’ve been working on since March. And it’s BIG!!! We’re talking a new blog/website, logo, headshots, business cards, look — EVERYTHING!!!! I CAN’T WAIT!!!! No more random wordpress sites and non-uniformity, but rather one COHESIVE look — modern, full of life, and to the point! I’ve been / will be working with awesome people like Lane Baldwin, Taylor Schumann, and AnnaRose Girvin, and I really just can’t wait to see it all come together :) I don’t have an exact date for the launch at this point, but it will be within the next month or two, and it will be amazing!

So that’s it. Those are my big photo focuses — along with learning more and becoming better at what I do, of course! I want to take every moment I can this summer to cross all my Ts and dot all my Is so that I am ready to go even when I’m teaching during the school year! Photography isn’t just a summer passion for me — it’s a life passion, and I want to be the best that I can be. No more listening to fear and worry. :)

Be sure to check back later this week for some non-photo focused goals as well, and some beautiful sessions and sneak peeks from this weekend! And because I just really loved this moment, I’ll leave you with this shot from Jerome and Ashley’s wedding this weekend. They chose to not do a first-look, but wanted a chance to pray together before the craziness of the day began, and I loved it!

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Happy Monday!

Sami

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Monday Lovin’: No Perfect People, Pants, or Play-Dough Crumbs Allowed

Well hey there!! Hope this Monday finds you encouraged & equipped for the week ahead — sometimes it can be a little overwhelming going into a full week with lots on the agenda, but, as I was reminded at church yesterday, it’s all about the little steps! So take courage friend, and don’t be afraid to take some risks — even if it opens you up to the possibility of failure, it’s also the only way to possibly succeed!!

Things I am loving this Monday…

>>>This song by Drew Holcomb :) I fell in love  the very first time I heard it thanks to the wonderful Addie Zimmerman (you might have caught her popular blog post — “For The One Who Married Young” a few months back…)

>>>All the momma love on the internet this past weekend :) I am so blessed to have been given such an amazing, loving, hilarious, beautiful, awesome, supportive, WONDERFUL mother, and I am so thankful for her! It was so neat for me to see all of the shout-outs to moms around the world — and I LOVED the shout-outs to the “unofficial” moms as well :)

>>>This message by the AMAZING wife of our pastor yesterday:

I LOVED her talk, and felt super encouraged afterwards — as a girl who was/still-kinda-is afraid of way too many things, a talk on courage & the freedom to fail always hits the spot. I especially loved her point on enabling — it will be near the end of the video. Too often we let our story be an excuse for why we can’t do something/sin/are the way we are…”Well ________ happened to me so I get to be bitter”, or “I didn’t have ______ growing up, so it’s okay that I ____”, or even: “Well, God gives grace so I can do _________ & he will forgive me!! Right?!?”. Yes we aren’t perfect, and no we don’t have it all together, and yes terrible things happen…but THANK GOODNESS we have a God who not only accepts us the way we are, but who also redeems our stories. #noperfectpeople

>>>That I got to hang out with some of my favorite Cleveland kiddos on Saturday while their parents were out of town for wedding fun! If you follow me on instagram, Nate & Layla’s cute faces & AWESOME hair will be nothing new to see :) So thankful for this family & all of the joy they have brought Chris and I!!! Also, I’m obsessed with Layla’s face in the play-dough squeezing pics…HAHA!! SO. MUCH. EFFORT.

2014.5.9 Vickers Lifestyle 5 Star-3450_STOMP 2014.5.9 Vickers Lifestyle 5 Star-3453_STOMP 2014.5.9 Vickers Lifestyle 5 Star-3474_STOMPMy favorite little dude :)2014.5.9 Vickers Lifestyle 5 Star-3418_STOMP 2014.5.9 Vickers Lifestyle 5 Star-3445_STOMP 2014.5.9 Vickers Lifestyle 5 Star-3463_STOMP 2014.5.9 Vickers Lifestyle 5 Star-3562_STOMPSee what I mean?!?!? HAHA love her :)2014.5.9 Vickers Lifestyle 5 Star-3530_STOMP 2014.5.9 Vickers Lifestyle 5 Star-3508_STOMP 2014.5.9 Vickers Lifestyle 5 Star-3498_STOMP 2014.5.9 Vickers Lifestyle 5 Star-3461_STOMP

>>>And to end on a funny note, I am DEFINITELY loving the fact that I’m not wearing pants at work today :) HAHA! I told my first period that after a girl complimented my dress and I may or may not have gotten a lot of weird looks…but that’s what a dress is for, am I right?! :)

Happy Monday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Lovin’

Happy Monday!!

Hope you had a wonderful weekend & were able to enjoy good times with great friends :) If you’ve been reading along, you already know my in-laws were in town — we had such a great time exploring Cleveland, eating yummy food, catching up & sharing stories! It’s always good to have family in town! I shared a bunch of photos from our trip to Little Italy, but I wanted to share this compilation again…I just love the colors & vibrancy so much! :)2014.4.26-Little-Italy-5-Star-3337_STOMP.jpg

As always, things I’m loving this Monday:

  • Food Should Taste Good tortilla chips. Oh my goodness, I could eat these things ALL. DAY. My good friend Ali introduced me to their amazingness, and I’ve been hooked ever since!! In fact, I’m currently munching on them with some cheese slices as we speak!
  • ProPhoto websites — SO MANY OPTIONS!! I know I’ve mentioned a few times that I’m in the process of branding & professionalizing different areas of my business, and one of the things I am most excited about will be my new blog/website!! I still haven’t 100% made up my mind on which option I am choosing, but I know it will be FUN, bright, and full of love :) I especially love using ProPhoto because of how customizable the features are — you can make practically anything unique and just-for-you! Plus the tutorial videos are a HUGE bonus! While I have loved my time on this wordpress site, I can’t wait to have MY OWN website. Big things, guys, big. things. :) :)
  • The O.C. — Oh my swoon, BENJAMIN MACKENZIE & SETH COHEN. Thanks to my lovely co-worker Kate, Chris and I are on a new season-watching binge, and it’s amazing :) Nothing better than the smoldering looks and witty comments…what a duo! We’re currently on the Oliver drama of Season One…ooooh I HATE that guy!! Ya know what I mean?!?! So silly how much we get wrapped up in lives that don’t actually exist…but I love it :)
  • My new Anthropologie cardi-sweater. People — this little guy is AMAZING & so so fun!!! Cozy arms, bright colors, and these sassy little poof things on the waist tie…sigh :) I’ve never owned an Anthro clothing item until this weekend, and I’m super thankful for my generous mother-in-law & her eye for a good deal :P
  • And finally, I’m loving all of the positive feedback & excitement that has resulted from the spring giveaway!!! I turned on the “review” feature of my Facebook page last week thinking it would be beneficial for new fans who may not know me, and I am so glad I did!! You guys make my heart so happy with your sweet words, and there is nothing better than hearing how happy you are with your photos as well!!! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for giving me the chance to do what I do :) You are the best, and I am SO excited to giveaway a free session to one of you lucky ducks!!!

Wish we could sit down & have a chat on this front step — I would love to hear about the things you’re loving (and maybe not so much loving) today too!

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And if today has been one of those Mondays, hang in there! Reflect on past triumphs, hold on to truth, and choose joy :)

-Sami

P.S. LAST DAY TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY IS THIS WEDNESDAY!!! Make sure to put your name in the mix — comment on the blog, share the photo, like the page. Woohoo!

Spring Giveaway 2014 Version 2 Black_STOMP