Why I use HONEYBOOK as my CRM (and a 50% discount code off your subscription)

Why I use HONEYBOOK as my CRM (and a 50% discount code off your subscription)

Being a solopreneur is NOT easy. But even with all the extra STUFF that goes into running a business, I am super PROUD to say that providing a stress-free client experience is one of the things I've come to be known for. And I have to admit, a huge part of my "secret" is that I have HoneyBook to keep me on track with it all. Learn why I love HoneyBook so much (and get 50% off a subscription of your OWN, too)!

Nominate a BEAUTIFUL child

Do you know a truly BEAUTIFUL child?

Maybe you know a kid who has stood up to bullies or have helped someone else through that situation. Maybe you know someone who hands out food and water to the homeless, or donates their time at a local non-profit. Maybe it's someone who's overcome a lot in their short life already and are still smiling. Perhaps it's a kid who has reached out to other isolated kids, saved up money to spend on their friends instead of themselves, or someone who has even started their own business or YouTube channel to inspire others.

Know a kid like this? I'd love to meet them!

As part of the Beauty Revived photography movement, I am asking for nominations for beautiful children in the Bend, Oregon area to be featured in a national magazine.

The beauty of these children will not be measured by their looks. Instead, these children will be chosen because of their REAL beauty... the good stuff that shines from the inside out. The child chosen through this nomination process will be gifted a free photo session with yours truly and a feature in the Real Beautiful Children’s issue of Beauty Revived magazine. 


What is Beauty Revived?

Beauty Revived is a movement that celebrates women and children with real beauty. Selected photographers donate sessions to chosen women and children, whose stories are then featured in their magazine and on their website at BeautyRevived.com.

Hundreds of photographers applied to be a part of the Beauty Revived 50 Beautiful Children's campaign, and I am honored to be among those selected to participate.

Michelle Simmons of The Suitcase Studio in Bend Oregon was chosen to be a photographer in Beauty Revived 50 Beautiful Children campaign 2018.

Nominations are OPEN!

I will be accepting nominations from June 12 - June 24.  I will then select one child to gift with a complimentary photography session (and a few other goodies, to be announced). The child chosen will be an example of real beauty and will have shown their beauty by demonstrating courage when challenged, kindness in the face of adversity, or another beautiful way of expressing themselves which has impacted the world in a positive way. 

Have someone in mind?

Click here to learn more + fill out the submission form. Bring on your awesome stories... I can't wait to hear them! 

Sometimes it's all about the timing.

Sometimes it's all about the timing.

Ours is an unlikely love story... One that almost never happened, and took us THREE times to get right. I don't remember how it was that we met, other than knowing it was through a mutual friend. Maybe it was at a house party, or on a Friday night for Cosmic Bowling. However it was that we came together, it happened in 2000... for the first time.

Why you might want to skip the MINI SESSION for your family photos

Here's why mini sessions are NOT always the best idea for family photos, especially if you've got young kids.

Mini Sessions might seem like the optimal way to go with getting new family photos, right? I mean, they're low-cost with little time commitment, will give you that one perfect picture for the announcement or end-of-the-year holiday card, and can be a great way to test out a new photographer without making a major commitment, right? I mean... what could go wrong?

BUT PICTURE THIS: You step into this adoooorable new shop that you've never been before. There are So. MANY. Things. to see. You're SQUEEEEEING with glee and getting ready to drool because you just can't stand the cuteness, but before you can do ANYTHING you're suddenly yanked by the arm to the center of the store where everything is just out of sight, and definitely out of reach. You try to sidestep to a colorful shelf that calls your name, but you're redirected again. Told you can't even LOOK in that direction. Frustration mounts, you find yourself checking your watch over and over again, wondering WHEN you can just have a peek... when you're suddenly pulled out of the store and led away.

Not cool, right?

Unfortunately, mini sessions with young kids can be a bit more difficult than you might expect, because this is what it feels like to them. This is what your toddler feels like whenever they're brought somewhere new and magical, and aren't allowed to touch or look or explore at all. And told to sit still and look straight ahead. But SMILE, dammit!

While most moms tend to want to book a MINI session because the kiddos' attention span is incredibly limited, this is actually the opposite way to go. A mini session can be "crunch time" if you're trying to get all those smiling family photos, and with little time to wiggle or play, the kiddos tend to melt down even more.

But by booking a full-length session, there's still in-between time for them to easily make the transition from moment to moment, stop for a snack, and explore the area from time to time. There's also plenty of time for everyone to warm up to the camera, and for authentic personalities to shine through. A full-length session ensures that everyone is able to actually ENJOY the experience all the way through, and alleviates the stress of worrying whether or not the kids will "behave" for the camera.

Now, before you start to panic because you've already booked that mini session or your budget just won't allow for the full session at the moment, let me remind you: the MINI session CAN be an absolute blast. I still actually offer them myself (only at certain times of the year), and get GREAT results every time. But the KEY is to remind yourself that this is, truly, a MINI session. You won't be able to get those 25 dream Pinterest poses or multiple locations or outfits in 20-30 minutes without giving yourself, your family (and the photographer) a heart attack in the process. Instead, pick out one MUST-HAVE photo idea, and leave room for plenty of candid moments. And start saving up for a bigger session to get the rest of those dream photos you crave.

Try this: If time and budget allows, book a FULL-LENGTH session instead of a MINI. It's toooootally worth it. But if you just can't swing it at the moment, start saving up for the future. And for now, pick out one or two MUST-HAVE photographic moments for the MINI, and save the rest for later.

Ready for even more SIMPLE TIPS on how to prep for the most stress-free family photo session EVER? Coolio. Just click here.