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I recently made changes to my website that I really thought no one would notice. But turns out people did. Maybe even you did. And it’s become more frequent that I hear about it or get some questions regarding it that I thought maybe it was time to address it. This question of ….

So where do you live?

A few months back I changed the title of website to say I’m a Seattle Wedding Photographer. And then I put Seattle on Facebook. And on Instagram. And probably everywhere. And now I’m clearly confusing people.

So here’s what’s up –

I want to move to Seattle! Ha. That’s really the base of it. Montana is beautiful and it’s been my home most of my life. And it will always be home. But my heart has just been pulled in another direction for a while. A long while. There are just so many things holding me back from just picking up and going and whatever happens, just happens. That’s what I want to do. I’m having to resist my  normal impulsiveness.

About 9.5 years ago I went to Vancouver, BC for the first time. Truthfully I left a bit of my heart there from the beginning. I fell in love with the feel of the city, the hustle & bustle, the beauty, mountains all around that I could be up on in minutes, and back down at the ocean in a few more. It felt progressive, where Montana life feels more complacent. To me anyway… just my opinion.

Since then I’ve felt the pull to move away. There are a million other factors, personal ones, about Montana that have also played a part in this desire for something new. Stuff maybe I’m not ready to share yet.

No secret I’m obsessed with Vancouver. I’d love to move there someday but moving to another country is much different than another state! A few years ago I  took my daughter, Caterina, to Seattle for a little mini family vacation. This kid has traveled the world, literally, and she is so in love with Seattle, it’s her favorite. And for the last few years I’ve taken her every year for a summer getaway and it’s become such a special place for just us. At one point she told me she wanted me to take the day and think about it and if I decided I wanted to move to Seattle to move “tomorrow.” If it only it were that easy.

But I’ve put the ball in play. I approached my SEO guy and we built a plan to a get my work noticed in Seattle and the surrounding area so I can start a transition. Which is working!

Do I still photograph weddings in Montana. HECK YES! I still live here. But even when I don’t I’ll always be coming back here. My daughter lives here. My friends live here. My little sister lives somewhere around here 😉 It’s home. And it’s beautiful. I’ll absolutely continue to work and play in Montana probably forever.

I’ve always served the Pacific Northwest for photography, just now I’m telling google I absolutely do 😉 That’s really all. It’s just a transition on a work in progress to keep moving forward in my life.

I’ve been hearing the chatter of confusion and realized maybe it was just time to formally address it. Nothing has actually changed and if/when I move further west, nothing really will change then. I will continue my travels where ever my incredible job may take me.

And there ya have it!!! HAPPY MONDAY gorgeous people!

XOXO

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Last year I took a break from conventions and conferences in the photo industry. And honestly I regret that. I didn’t think I needed to go and didn’t want to spend the money but I felt the weight of it before the wedding season even started. The lack of inspiration. The doubt. I missed out on building on my relationships with other photographers and vendors and creating new ones. I missed out. I was wrong. Missing events affected my business and me personally. So I wasn’t going to have that this year. I figured I’d play 2016 by ear other than WPPI that was going to be a must go.  And just over a week ago I headed to Vegas for the big event.

Vegas is crazy. On it’s own. But WPPI there is so much going on. So many things I want to check at the expo for my biz. Networking events. My own event for She Will Thrive. Catching up with old friends. The list goes on and on. FOMO is a real thing and we all have it. Staying up til 5am each night just to make sure we don’t miss something and up and out by 10am for sure so we don’t miss more. It’s wonderfully exhausting.

I didn’t even attend a class this year. But it’s amazing what 3 days with like-minded people can do for your spirit. People who challenge you but believe in you. Sometimes more than I even believe in myself. I’m still on a bit of a high trying to sort all of my thoughts and ideas and where to go with them, what to do first.  I did make sure when I first came home to write down the biggest lessons. Whether they came from a one on one conversation, or a group conversation, or some were just thoughts that smacked me in the face with no conversation needed, here they are. My lessons from Vegas.

  1. Community is so powerful. Relationships created on the idea that we are better together. Helping each other. Supporting one another. Building each other up. And the reminder that we aren’t alone.
  2. Believe in magic. Enjoy things as they are. Let them happen. Not everything has to make perfect sense with limits and boundaries. They can just be.
  3. Sleep can come later. Not too much later or I might get sick and die. That’s only sort of an exaggeration. But it can wait a few days 😉
  4. Good is still good. Everything doesn’t need to be great. And really what is great if everything is great. Just a reminder that good things are still good. Give them credit, be proud of good things. We can’t be great constantly. Good isn’t bad. Even though something might be small that doesn’t mean it’s insignificant.
  5. Just dance. It makes everything better. Even bad back pain. At least momentarily. As long as you don’t stop and you always have an alcoholic beverage 😉
  6. Inspiration is a collaboration. It doesn’t just miraculously appear. It starts somewhere and grows. Surround yourself with people who inspire. Dreamers. Thinkers. World shakers.

I have been a freak since I got home. Fluttering around. Totally been screwed by the time change, but my mind hasn’t stopped racing. From these lessons, thoughts and ideas brought up by this trip.

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to go. And to those of you willing to give me a slice of your time til 5am you have a special place in my heart. I’m forever changed by you. I’m stoked to see this industry move forward with you all leading the way!

Some of these lessons/thoughts came from conversations on a walk with Meg where my extreme exhaustion played into my inability to keep my walls up and I emotionally broke down. Tears on the Las Vegas strip wasn’t on my agenda. But I’m so thankful for a friend that refuses to let me drown. That hour walk was monumental. I kept busy most of the trip that photos never happened. Except on that walk we found a white wall, pulled out our cameras and we laughed.  I love these beautiful images we took of each other. And why isn’t our hair that great everyday?!

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Missoula MT Photographer Throwback Thursday_0001

Last week I found these amazing photos of a slightly shorter and slightly younger me. I started saying out loud, literally, the things that I wanted that girl to know as if she wasn’t even me. So in honor of Throwback Thursday I wrote up a little note to the younger me with killer hair and wicked fashion –

Listen.

Damn girl you are tough.

And weird. But we’re all a little weird.

At times you will feel broken. But you are not damaged.

You always have a choice.

Those things that you feel strongly about, that you feel called to, don’t go away. Follow them. Pursue them. You don’t have to be a doctor or a lawyer to be successful.

Actually success is subjective. You decide what that looks like for yourself. Set your own standards. The world doesn’t own you.

Hustle.

Beauty isn’t skin deep. It’s messy.

What makes you different isn’t ugly. It’s the best part of you.

Go. Just go. Sitting still will kill you. Reflect for a moment. But keep going. You’ll slow down later in life. Just don’t slow down too soon.

The only reason you need to do anything in life, is that it’s what you wanted to do. Period.

Love is stupid. Sometimes crazy. But the best love is crazy AND stupid. Don’t try to make sense of it, just let it happen.

One day Pluto will no longer be a planet. Don’t worry, it becomes a planet again. Well a dwarf planet, whatever the fuck that is.

Have regrets. It means you took risks. Taking risks will eventually lead you to somewhere beyond what you imagined.

Turns out your hair looks awesome when you don’t brush it. So don’t.

Tragedy will come. Don’t push it away or suppress it, accept it, it never truly leaves. Let it build you up, don’t drown in it.

Skip student loans, you’ll eventually follow your heart and not use that degree anyway.

Don’t forget where you came from. Scandinavia. So drink vodka.

Your little sister will one day be your best friend. Crazy… but it’s true. Be nicer to her.

Write. Seems simple, it isn’t.

Laugh and smile everyday. Even on the hardest days there is happiness to be found or created.

You’re pretty damn special, and you matter. Keep it up.

Love always.

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Keeping New Years Resolutions

I’ve noticed this change in attitude towards New Years Resolutions over the last couple years but it really took a turn this year. Lots of screw it don’t do em. You never keep em anyway. Waste of your time.

Um… bullshit.

Ok probably not bukkshit to the ‘you never keep them anyway.’ Thus the change in manner towards them. But honestly that’s on us.

Call ‘em what you want but ultimately these are goals you want to achieve for the year. And the New Year is the perfect time to start them. It’s a fresh start. It’s a NEW year. Great time for us to reflect on the previous year and where we want to be this time next year, what we want to accomplish in this next chapter. You should reflect and write down new goals.

We fail at keeping them or crossing them off the list for a few reasons –

  1. You didn’t actually make a list. Just came up with some things in your head. Or you’ve put them out there. Telling people about them is great but also put them in writing. You can’t cross them off if they aren’t there to cross off. Write them and talk about them. You might even find those you tell can really help you with them! But do both. Your’e more likely to stay accountable to them.
  2. They’re unattainable. Trust me I live in a bit of lala land and think world peace could happen if we just all tried! Haha. But if you don’t set actual attainable goals for the new year well then you set yourself up not to reach them cause they aren’t attainable. I’m not saying don’t dream big. PLEASE do. I’m saying when you write down a goal be realistic in is this something I can do this year, this month, this week… or is this a 2 or 5 year goal. Keep it but don’t give up on resolutions all together because you put an unattainable 5 year goal on your list and you obviously didn’t achieve it in 12 months.
  3. We forget to think smaller. For whatever reason we feel these must be grand. But truthfully big changes in our lives result from the smallest acts. And sometimes we just need to write it down & share them to get started with it.
  4. The biggest reason we miss the mark on new year resolutions…. we never set up any strategies or tactics to accomplish them. As if putting it out into the universe it will magically happen this week. And sometimes we get lucky and that does happen. But if we want to be intentional with our goals you must include a plan, a map per se, to get there. If you don’t know what direction you need to go how will you ever get there, and how on earth will you know when you’re off track if there wasn’t one to get on?

I get it. I’ve done all of those things. Many times. I’ve finally just hit a point that I’m over it. It’s time to be serious about what we want. And listing off how much of this I want, and I want to go do this, and I want… I want… I want… with no strategy isn’t being serious. There are even times I find myself writing the same goals or a slight variation so it doesn’t appear to be the same, but in fact, it is.

Enough with that. Let’s be intentional with our lives and our desires for it.

Here are my tips on achieving goals –

  1. Prioritize your List – You’ll probably find on your list that if you accomplish some of the goals listed they’d actually help you with another one. And leaving all of them to just hang til the end of the year in hopes of getting lucky isn’t productive. Prioritize them. Some to start to now, and the rest for different times throughout the year.
  2. Actually follow up each goal with an action. At least one way you think you can accomplish it or set you on the right track to get there. 3 ways is better. We do fail now and again 😉 Doing this you’ll actually create a to-do list for your prioritized goals. Already this feels much more manageable right?!
  3. Recognize that each strategy you list might in itself include several tactics to achieve just the strategy. If you don’t recognize and set these up then that bigger goal will never get the golden checkmark.
  4. Think small. As said earlier, every goal doesn’t need to be huge. Or maybe you’ve now recognized you need to just get started so bring back a notch. Maybe you’re original goal was to get healthy, but after some thought the biggest area of health you want to work on is getting enough sleep & consistently good sleep. So instead you have this smaller goal now of getting to bed by this time and using an app to track sleep quality and trends from day to day and you’re going to do it until it’s a habit. (which is only 21 days by the way!) It’s not about making “easier” goals. It’s about making them attainable and setting yourself up to succeed. This is actually the same thought process for creating strategies & tactics!
  5. Still dream big. It doesn’t all have to accomplished in 2016. You might find just by prioritizing your list, and creating actionable items these 2 and 5 year goals are attainable even sooner!

Don’t skip writing down goals because you failed to set yourself up to succeed. Try again. Write that list. Go back to that list, prioritize and enter strategies. Shit, add more goals to it!!! It might be the 3rd week of January but it isn’t too late. It never is. These don’t have to happen just at the new year, and they shouldn’t. But it’s a great time to remind us to start fresh and try again or go for more. 2016 is your year. It’s yours for the taking. But you have to act on it. Take it. We even have an extra day this year…. look how much extra time we have for activities!!!! Just don’t give up.

XOXO

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