where is it all going? you feel me?

so - I don’t know 'bout the rest of you ... I think it's the stage of life we are in + the day and age we are in where we are marketed to almost 24/7 ...there's always emails , Instagram ads / influencers ... as much as those resources are great [ and helpful ] in so many ways - its also easy to get sucked into the mindset that if we buy [ said ] product … we will automatically become a] like that person we admire or b] attain temporary happiness from having “that” lifestyle .

In all this - I think there are serious pros to Instagram / Online world of shopping as our worlds become more open to supporting small , local companies and much more BUT I also think its equally easy to get swept up in the whole Insta- lifesyle & loose sight of our OWN goals.

CASE & POINT: Recently I got an email from a brand I love - with these mules … that I was like OMG heart eyes I need these & immediately put together this little imaginary scenario of how they would go with #allthethings & I had seen them on a few influencers on social media JUST like that and I loved how they looked … then I opened the closet… and remembered these black heeled booties that I had re-heeled last fall , are in perfect condition , more practical for SK winters and more or less looked the same as the mules I was dying over … I was forced to take a dose of my own “ DO you need this” Medicine & tuck the visa back away … Sound Familiar?

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Since Lee & I started our marriage as students for two years - although we are both naturally quite careful with money - it became even more key to budget & I’ve kept that habit up as a way to “check in” with where our hard earned $ are going every month + I recently edited the template to include a “ Goals” column at the top as a reminder of some bigger things we would like to save up for & keep those in view .

So this week - as a little pre- Christmas gift to set your goals on track at the BEGINNING of the NY … I am sending all my email subscribers a FREE download of the exact budgeting template we use monthly…

I’d love to know in the comments below if you’re experience is similar to mine with social media/ email marketing & do you do a monthly budget?

taylor & caylyn's day + 5 Tips to get Pinterest worthy photos

So ...I checked with Caylyn ... and she said she would be honoured to let me "hijack" their wedding blog post to provide you guys with a little bit of an .... infomercial?

The last wedding of the season to be shared here, and I know.... pretty pictures are [ always ] fun to look at but I wanted to provide you guys with something a little bit more.

Whether you are a bride to be or a mom planning her family photos for this year - & you're scrolling through photo blogs , inspo shots from Pinterest & wondering ... how do I get photos like this? 

Cuz friends, yes we can crop things and photoshop some things & fake others BUT there are some things that really do make your photos better that are totally up to you.

The Top Five Things that Make or Break your Wedding Photos

#1 

be comfortable. 

really... most people HATE getting their photo taken [ unless they model on the side ] so whether its a family shoot , or your wedding ... make sure you wear something that you feel like "you" in - & that you can move freely & comfortably. Most photographers want to create movement & natural engagement in their photos - so be sure to wear something that isn't prone to wardrobe malfunction or that's going to be hard to sit / stand / twirl in ;)

also .... getting to know your photographer is KEY. its very hard to be relaxed for a photo if the person pointing a lens at you just makes you feel uncomfortable ... find someone who you connect with , who understands your style , needs & you feel comfortable just being yourself around, and your pics will go from meh... to wow.

[ side note here, I include an engagement session with my couples for this very reason ... your wedding day is one of the biggest events of your life - the last thing that you want to discover morning of, is that this photographer who's photos you love on social media ...doesn't jive with you as a couple ... your photos will appear stuffy and over posed because its just going to be that much harder... for both parties ]

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#2

details matter.

photographers LOVE details ... well this one does anyway ;)

what details, you may ask?... well , the ones that make your day uniquely , yours. 

& think about this as a whole of your day from the colors you choose to the accents you use on your tables - make it personal.... for an example, Caylyn wrapped her bouquet in lace from her grandmothers wedding dress .... &  in a recent family shoot I had our children hold some stuffed animals their auntie handmade them in some of the photos ,that extra layer of interest adds sentimental value to your photos & becomes part of your story.

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Side note: as a Smash & Tess fan girl myself ... this bridal party had it right in my books - not only stylish these rompers are the comfiest garment you will own, in case you don't already have one ... check em' out 

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Have you guessed the next one yet?

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#3

good lighting.

honestly, this one pretty much trumps all the things & applies to each & every scenario when it comes to your photos . 

As a natural light photographer , your most flattering photos will happen where there plenty of opportunities to photograph you in well lit areas. This "getting ready" location was ideal not only for lighting but the decor complimented the style of the bride & her accents ... this stuff counts, folks ... 

For your ceremony, if you are getting married in the "bright" months - consider a treed in area or some sort of canopy over to avoid harsh shadows & squinting in sunlight ...

For family photos, you can count on scheduling your photo shoot about 1- 1/5 hrs before sunset [ unless, as stated above if its overcast or there is shade ]

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#4

colour.

I get asked this question a TON, especially when it comes to family sessions ... so here are some things to consider when you are thinking about colours to wear for photos.

think about where your photos will be taken, time of year & of course , your skin tone at that time of year -

[for example, if you want fall photos in the leaves - avoid wearing "loud" colors or it will take away from the photo, you want to wear earth tones that compliment the season, rather than distract from the natural surroundings. ]

As for photos in doors - think about your decor & the style of the space you will be getting photos taken - if you wish to hang these photos in your home, wear tones that compliment your interior decor.

+ always... think coordination over matching, think about fabric texture as much as color in your choices!

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- and guys... don't forget to have FUN! -

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#5

last but not least... LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

WHERE you decide to get married, have a reception, take family photos says just as much about you as your outfit choices and decorations ... and seriously, makes all the difference. 

I challenge you to think outside the box here, especially when it comes to weddings - there are some very cool venues [ yes even in the prairies ] & since most of your reception photos will be indoors - its worth considering whether you like how it will look in those photos

In your chosen location, consider where photos will be taken & think about putting backdrops behind those areas as well [ hall walls can be borrrinngg] Caylyn put old doors behind the cake stand to create interest 

+ note the string lights , you see all over Pinterest? they make us do a happy dance cuz ... lighting.

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I could share this whole day ... but since this gallery got mailed out today, I will save it for a surprise ;)

Hope these little tid bits shed some light on how to make your day a photo success , but as always ... if you have questions, don't be afraid to ask in the comments below!

P.S. Thanks again to Megan for being a HUGE help on this day & for capturing some stellar moments for this couple XOX

nick & ali

its easy to see that their families mean the world to these two , narrowing down a few favorite photos to share is a painful task [ especially with rural internet - can I get a shout out for someone to please get us up to speed with the century here in rural sk?? ] k thanks.

but seriously ... my favorites are always the pretty details, [ note the hexagon backdrop Nick made for behind the head table - amazing!] the candid moments between guests, family & the couple ... and great light - despite the intense heat, we found the most gorgeous oasis in the backyard to steal a few couples and wedding party photos and the smoke .... just adds to the drama.

I am so happy for you both & hope these memories bring joy to your heart [ and maybe a few tears to the eye ] as you grow old together ...

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Also - Big Shout-out to my right hand woman, Megan Heaton of meganchantal.com for all her help on this day, second shooting & catching some of these shots while I cared for Hudson you are honestly the best XO