Mental Health Day

Let’s take a minute to talk about mental health…

This week I planned to take Monday off (which I NEVER do). Mostly because we’d had a wedding Saturday (9 Hours) and we had to drop the photo booth off and pick it up at another wedding venue location. Then Sunday I had 2 high school senior session and a wedding consultation. On Monday I still had some commitments to fulfill (volunteering at a golf awards ceremony) so I didn’t get a full day off but staying in my pj’s for part of the day was the plan. I felt a bit guilty for not going to the studio because on Monday people are supposed to go to work. But gosh darn it, I was taking the day off.
All went to plan (sort of) and I got to stay in my jammies for part of the day. I did the dishes, caught up on some laundry, washed the dog, made lunch for my husband, and even watched a movie. All while doing a bit of editing, checking my emails, responding to Facebook inquires, and planning for the weeks ahead. Admittedly, it’s really hard for me to take a ‘true day off’. I am so committed to my business, my friends and family, my clients, and my deadlines that even 12 hours away stresses me out. I know people are counting on their images coming back on time and looking forward to them.
You know what? I am never late with deadlines. In fact, most of the time I deliver much earlier than promised because I am just as excited as you are to get you your photos. So why do I still push myself like crazy to work, work, work and hustle, hustle, hustle? This is something I asked myself today, on Tuesday, after taking a second ‘day off’.
Gasp! The shock! The horror! Two days off! Who am I becoming?! I’d like to tell my inner voice to take a seat and zip it. I DESERVE a day off! Just like you do! September was an absolutely insane month for us. I had 9 weddings, 19 consultations/meetings, 1 viewing and ordering session, 2 expos, 4 nights of staff training, 17 photo sessions (school sports, families, headshots, etc.), 1 doctors appointment, a ton of travel time, and I worked 9 shifts at the Loon (waiting tables). I worked roughly a total of 195 hours of actual physical work. That does not include my travel time, time spent editing, culling, uploading, creating, designing, and delivering. I’m not totally sure I want to know what the final number for September was. What I do know is that I spent very little time with my family, husband, and pets, and also that I was exhausted Sunday evening. So yeah, I took two days ‘off’ to rest, recoup, and regain a bit of mental strength. I think that honestly, we all need to do that from time to time.

The reason I felt the need to sit down and write this today (at 11:30pm on Tuesday) is because I really want to stress the concept of kindness, compassion, and patience. I know you’re excited to see your gallery and receive your prints. I know if feels like it’s been forever. Trust me, it feels like forever for me too when your names are written boldly on my whiteboard. I know that you have a lot going on, and that having an immediate response to an email, message or text would be helpful. But please understand that if I don’t get back to you right away it’s because I am super tied up with something else. I am not ignoring you, mad at you, or ‘never going to deliver’. Any of those responses would eat away at me and I would feel guilty for ages. So next time to want to check in with someone (be it me, another vendor, or a friend that borrowed your hoodie) please think about doing it kindly.

Be kind to yourself, be kind to your loved ones, and be kind to others in this world. Lord know’s we could all use it. Mental health is important. Take a day off from time to time, and don’t let it eat away at you. (Ok, that last bit was for me but maybe it’ll help you too.)

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This is Us (not the show)

Hi All! Megan here 🙂  (I feel like I should specify, because Justin writes blogs too).

I have a bit of time today because, unfortunately, the session I had cancelled due to illness. So I thought I would try out blogging…. again. I want to share a bit about me, about Justin, about us as a couple, and about our business. I think it’s so important to just be our honest selves. Life, social media especially, can turn into a ‘highlight reel’ and I want to make more of an effort to keep it REAL, not REEL.

 

About Me –

 Megan, recently (and maybe forever) 30.

Has the best intentions to blog more, post more, share more, but get’s busy. And sleepy.

Born & raised in Phoenix, Arizona. Very excited that cacti are becoming trendy and being put on home decor and clothing.

Listening to ‘Family Road Trip Radio’, ‘Beats for Studying’, or ’90s Pop’ stations on Pandora while editing.

Would be interested in learning more about a career where people get paid to nap.

Loves to travel, adventure, explore, and dream. Doing all of those at the same time = Heaven.

About Justin – (from my perspective)

Phenomenal writer. I’m always so impressed with what he comes up with when he takes the time to sit down and write.

Super handsome, great beard.

Very involved in growing the Disc Golf club & sport here in Gaylord.

Was a preemie, just over 3 pounds at birth. (I think this is a neat fact because if you saw him today you’d never guess that!) It’s such a blessing that God put him on this earth.

Scared of things (sorry babe, trying to be real here). If our house ever got invaded, I’d be the one to bust out the ninja skills.

(This is one that he gave me when I asked him to tell me some interesting facts) I love trains!

About Us –

Justin and I met in Gaylord when I was home visiting family for the holidays. At the time I lived in Seattle.

4 days after I flew back to Seattle he bought a one-way ticket for the following day and flew out to see me. We’ve been together since.

We were married at Park of the Pines in Boyne City. The same place I was baptised at 8, and he was baptised one year after our wedding (on the day!).

We’ve been to Ireland and Mexico together.

He proposed on the first night we got to spend in our first home. (We’re a little backwards, I know).

We have the BEST family ever! Honestly, we are both so extremely fortunate to have such supportive, caring, driven, people in our lives.

About Moments –

We started MPB as just a Photo Booth company. After picking up a few friends weddings we expanded into more photography.

Our Instagram is a mess LOL I always forget to add images. We also have a twitter and snapchat we never use. (Partially because I still don’t understand twitter).

I (Megan) do all the culling, editing, album design, and print orders.

Justin designed, created, and maintains our website.

Working with your spouse is so cool! But that doesn’t mean we always get along. Sometimes when I’m hungry I can get pretty snarly.

We have gotten to do so many awesome, interesting jobs. From shooting the red carpet photos at the Northern Michigan Rock Awards to taking photos of radio towers in a blizzard at Camp Grayling.

Is there anything you’ve ever wondered about life in our shoes? Feel free to ask!

Thanks for reading 🙂

 

Top 5 things to ask your Wedding Photographer

Hi, All! It’s Megan! and it’s my first bloggy-blog. So go easy on me, and don’t kill me for all the exclamation marks. I get real excited when I talk about our business! (<—–see! 🙂 )

A few weeks ago Justin and I attended the Treetops Bridal Expo and I was asked to give a brief presentation about something that had to do with our business. I really wanted to do something that would be helpful for brides and not just ramble on about how awesome MPB is (I could do that for hours). So I came up with this:

Top 5 things to ask your Wedding Photographer! (if you missed my presentation this is the long and short of it, with less giggling and silly dance moves.)

  1. What is your photography style?

This is such an important question, because, right off the bat when you think about your wedding you have a certain vision in your head. You want to make sure that you are choosing a photographer that shares that vision. Some photographers are dark and dramatic, while others are light and airy. It would be silly to hire someone that generally turns out dark, grainy, intense photos if you want bright pastels. Also, do you want super stylized photos (dramatic landscapes, modelesque poses) or candid/lifestyle photos (people laughing, dancing, emotion inducing photos)? That’s something else you should know about your photographer. Justin and I are more lifestyle photographers. We love to catch emotion as it’s happening. Ultimately, my goal is to be able to look back at photos and remember how I felt in that exact moment.

I snagged these 2 photos from the Shoot & Share contest just to give you an idea. 

 

2. Have you ever shot at my venue?

I’m a firm believer in this question! If the answer to this is ‘no’ ask them if they will do a site visit before your big day. Most of us carry tons of extra equipment just to be sure we are covering all of our bases. However, we have some gorgeous venues in Northern Michigan that have terrible lighting. (No offense all you wonderful barn weddings, I LOVE those chandeliers but dang…. I need more light! So I bring it.) Also, if your photographer has been there before they might know of some good places to sneak off and do portraits at. They’ll also have an idea of the best place for family formals, etc.

 

3. What is included in your photography packages? 

Get these details up front! Wouldn’t you be super bummed if you were expecting to get all the digital images on a drive only to find out after the fact that they aren’t included? You should know exactly what you’re getting for your money. There’s no harm in asking just to double check and clear things up. This may also mean you pick a different package so that your engagement photos are included, or you get a custom designed album.  Most photographers will even custom design a package to fit your needs.

 

4. Do you have a portfolio I can review? 

Let’s face it (and be real honest right now) Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest are all highlight reels. They are the best of the best and things we want to show off. For the most part. I do occasionally post things to our facebook page simply because I love it, or it makes me laugh. You may absolutely LOVE someone’s work but all you’ve ever seen are the things they’re showcasing on social media. Have you seen any of their family portraits? What about the detail shots? It’s good to know that you’re going to love those things too. Personally, I have no problem sharing a couple’s wedding gallery (with permission, of course!). If you want to sift through all 450 images to make sure you like our style, angles, ideas, etc. I’m happy to let you. The beauty of online galleries is that it’s a lot easier to share those now. If your photographer doesn’t share those things on a gallery site ask if you can sit down with them and review an album.

Here are just a few things of what’s currently out there on our gallery site…

 

5. When can I expect to receive my photos?

Yay! You’ve done it! You’ve made it through your big day (and almost this entire blog post)! Now it’s time to anxiously await the arrival of your images. I’m telling you… this is the hardest part! As a photographer, I know you’re dying to see how drop dead gorgeous you looked, or how handsome your man was while he was adjusting his cufflinks. I also know how long it takes to sort through and edit those images. We’re very upfront with our couples as to when they can expect to see sneak peaks, galleries, and albums. Generally (because I’m so excited to share them) we get sneak peaks out within a couple days. My goal (again being honest) is to have my image be your profile photo and cover photo. I want you to have the best quality picture to share with friends and family right away.  Everything else falls in line after that. Get a deadline from your photographer! Are you waiting 45-60 days for your images or 6 months? Will you be seeing sneak peaks within 48 hours or 2 weeks? It’s good to know those things. That way you can continue to be excited about your photos and your experience and your photographer doesn’t feel pressured when you text them every day to ask if they’re ready. 🙂

 

Well, that’s all the words I can put to paper today. Hope you found it helpful! Feel free to pass it along if you think it might be interesting to someone else! 🙂 (See the exclamation marks are back! I’d better go.)

 

Happy Monday friends, and happy planning!

 

Happy New Year 2017

Cheers to a New Year. 2016 had its ups and downs. I personally grew to know a better understanding of the world we live in. My resolution is to focus on how to improve my future as a photographer. Now I know that sounds like some outstandingly hard and impossible feat to overcome, but truely any small step or action will put you towards your goals. This blog exists because of taking a chance. I will admit that Megan had a large part in making me overcome some fears, which resulted in a life changing trip I will always remember.
It all started with a text. "Can we go to Mexico on Vacation?", to which my mind went to automatically responding "No", and quickly generated a list of Cons against the idea. Little did I know the Trip was almost a done deal. After a few conversations with Megan, and a large amount of research to convince my over analytical brain that it would be fun and a Business trip I finally agreed, and the rest is history.
We had a fantastic experience, and got to learn new skills from some of the best people in the Wedding Photography Industry. The simple choice of not giving into the fear of "what if" had fantastic results. Megan and I learned that if we are truly ourselves in life and business, there is nothing we cannot do. We sometimes need to step back and realize everything will not be overly perfect like society posts in the media. Sometimes we must take risks to grow, to learn, and to become who we wish to be in life. That being said, I challenge you in 2017 and beyond to break the mold, take time to be a creative and pursue your passions, and truly live in and make every Moment count.

New Blog Test

     It’s a snow blown mess in Gaylord, MI.  What a great day to get the new blog up and running.  Having a slow snow day at the Moments Photo Booth & Photography office.  We are looking forward to the Christmas Season.