Let me start this post by apologizing. If you are an AQP bride or previous AFP bride and you do not have an image listed below I am sorry. It is not because I don’t value or love you. It’s simply because your records are older and not in an online gallery but rather filed away in my super secret safe spot and not at my fingertips to access.
Something amazing happened me. Have you ever had one of those days or moments (I sure hope you have) where you were pulled in different directions and feeling kind of lost? Where your heart is saying something different than everything and everyone else? This was my day. As you all know I very recently have rebranded and relaunched. I am so exicted for this new chapter in my business and in myself. So many things come to play when you own a business but even more when you are in an industry growing every second and in a field where photographers seem to be around every corner. All I can say is educate yourself and make sure that you and your photographer are a great match for one(make sure there is a space here)another, but that is an entire different post that I am sure is bound to happen at some point. The thing that I have struggled with since day one in my business are in the categories of being too nice, wanting to please everyone, finding my comfort level, and standing firm in a business aspect while still staying true and being genuine to my beliefs. If that isn’t raw I don’t know what is. You now know my weakness, so please be kind.
I was faced with an opportunity and a decision. My mind, my business mentors, people that I look to for advice or a listening ear and all of those that I turn to when I just need an outside opinion or insight. All of those people and my mind were telling me different than my heart. INSTANTLY. MAN what a tough spot. Smart and successful business woman vs. Arli’s soft spot and need to please. I dislike when that happens. It doesn’t happen frequently, I am thankful for that. However, it does happen. I second guessed myself as I typed that email and hit send. I sat there and thought about how happy and complete my heart felt vs. how much I went against what I was “supposed” to do as a business woman and a wedding photographer. It felt good. It felt right. It was done and felt with love. It stood for everything I believe in. It may seem small to some people and others may not get it or will brush it off. It was a big deal to me. I am still tripping over my thoughts and emotional about it. I don’t need to tell you what exactly this is referring to because that part doesn’t matter. What matters is the action that I took when this opportunity and decision that I was faced with. I had no idea that in a few hours, my decision and following my heart by sending that email would present me with a gift of no physical value but more value to me then I could ever put into words and that I will be thankful for as long as I live. This is a moment in my business and in my experience that I needed and I will never forget.
For my clients and even photographers that have mentored with me generally the first thing out of my mouth is “know your worth”. I live by that, I stand by that, & I will help you see that in yourself. That is a strong and important statement that can go towards any aspect of someone’s life. It changed mine. The return email reply that I received instantly brought me to tears. Happy tears thankfully. A bride who was nothing but honest, real, and hopeful. I can only imagine how she was feeling all day as we corresponded. I sure like to think her heart was as happy as mine was. The words she shared with me touched my heart and made me feel appreciated. I am SO thankful for the brides that I have been so lucky to be able to stand beside through their journey and on their wedding day. I am even MORE thankful for the fact that many of my brides know my worth. As a person and as a business woman. This bride, who does not know me, has never met me, & has no idea my involvement with my brides in their planning process and wedding day says the words that EVERY photographer dreams to hear.
” Photography is something I definitely DO NOT want to skimp on. I have made the decision to go with your Elegance Collection. I am so excited to be able to make this decision!!! Yesterday I was so stressed thinking I just wasn’t going to be able to have anything I wanted, and man what a day can change! Today EVERYTHING is falling into place! Thank you so much for your help and patience already! You’ve been a blessing this far and I just can’t wait to work with you!”
What a dream she is. It is so refreshing to hear the appreciation for me and for my photography as well as know that she could have chosen anyone, but chose me. I felt like she fought for me. I felt like all of the hard work and love that I put into this business and my clients, WOW someone SEES that! Someone appreciates, respects, and KNOWS my worth. I can’t tell you what perfect timing this was. God surely does provide. It’s not always when we want it or THINK that we need it but when he KNOWS that we need it. That was just the love, appreciation, and boost that I needed. It was so much more, who am I kidding. To my bride in shining gown, thank you. You may have called me a blessing but it is you who I am grateful for. I am so excited to be a part of your journey and honored that you chose me.
To you future brides or to those of you who know a bride planning. Advice for you. When you find your one (Yes I mean your photographer). You will know. Not only should their work speak wonders to you but your photographer is such an important role for your wedding you should feel connected to them above all. Photographers will be with you from the beginning of your planning and even at your side on your wedding day. I proudly fluff a gown, fix a veil, carry lip gloss, repin hair, & anything else that you will need me to do. I am happy to do that for you. I cry at every wedding, I’m not bashful. I love new love. I love moments. I love that I have been given this gift, my photography talent that I can bless others with images of moments people years down the road will be admiring and loving. How incredible is that!? If you or someone you know is getting married I would LOVE to speak with you/them about your/their wedding to see if we are a great fit! Being given that opportunity means the world to me.
To my fellow photographers, starting out or seasoned. Know your worth and educate your clients or followers of that, show them. Don’t give up. I promise you ARE somebody and you are somebody GREAT. Remember to follow your heart and to not forget your values and beliefs. In our industry today it is so easy to get swept up and forget why we started our businesses and the dream that we had that started it all.
Below are images of my brides. Not all of them (as I mentioned above, sorry!). Each one of these women believed in me from start to finish. They have all touched my life and I hope in a small way I have also touched theirs.