In 2012 I shot 5 weddings, in 2013 I shot 9. Typing that makes me feel some sort of relief. Weddings are a big deal, a 5-8 hour, constant shooting, constant light changing, constant plan changing, ‘smiles on’ event….. and I love them. They are a challenge and a blessing and as I’m looking at this list of wonderful people who’s first kisses as a married couples I had the honor of capturing, I am speechless….
( I’m about to tell you something very personal and awkward )
When you’re young and naive and decide to start your own business, you feel invincible and all you can think about is how great it’s going to be that you can make your own hours, your own schedule, be your own boss, be as creative as you want to, and make gobs of money doing so. All of those things are wonderful, absolutely and I wouldn’t change a thing about making money doing what I love. I promise it doesn’t even feel like a job!
Here is the kicker though, and I literally cringe thinking about typing this…. but…. what they don’t tell you about owning your own business, is that if you didn’t start ‘in the money’, if you didn’t go to college and get those sorority sisters, if you don’t drive a BMW, and if you don’t make friends with a country club member…. you’ve got to WORK. You have to claw and scratch to get noticed, learn marketing by yourself, and you need to be really good at your craft so you can make enough money to buy the next step up in the gear you need to make you even better ( because you didn’t start with enough cash to buy it right out ). You need to find friends who are in your same business and who are willing to be real with you and share their struggles and success without hiding their ‘how to’ from you ( and believe me, until I found Pursuit 31 , those kind of friends were HARD to find.)
Please insert the song “Forever” by Drake here (hahahahha)
But you can do it : ) It takes time, and it takes patience, but you can do it. My reason for sharing this really awkward truth, is that the weddings I shot this year made me feel one step closer to ‘making it’.
Before every. single. wedding. I pray in my car before I go in. I pray for the couples marriage, I pray for the day to go smoothly, I pray that all of my camera gear works correctly, I pray for my nerves ( getting one chance to shoot one of the most important events in two peoples lives is pretty nerve-racking!), and I pray for my confidence. I have been shooting weddings for a while now, I have now shot by myself, over 20. To think about where I started, I am so thankful and grateful for the wonderful brides along the way who have trusted me to capture their day, and become my friends. ( even if I don’t drive a BMW ; )!)
So thank you Jill, Bethanni, Meghan, Heather, Ashley, Megan, Chelce, Anje and Aubrey for a wonderful 2013.
Now I’ll stop jabbering and get to the photos!
I started the year shooting a chilly February wedding, Jill and Michael got married February ,16th, 2013 at the Mayfair Church of Christ in OKC, and had their reception at Harn Homestead.
Click here to see more photos of their wedding : ) https://lenaephotography.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/jill-and-michael-oklahoma-wedding-photographer/
Then March came, and on the 16th I spent the day watching Beth and Lee’s wedding come together. Beth and I have the exact same birthday, and she is a photographer as well. I literally adore her and am so happy she was one of my brides who has become one of my friends.
To see their wedding click here https://lenaephotography.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/bethanni-and-lee-post-oak-lodge-wedding-photographer/
To see their engagement photos click here https://lenaephotography.wordpress.com/2012/11/06/lee-and-bethanni-engaged/
Then on the 23rd of March Megan and Dave got married, IN CHECOTAH! Holy lord was that a dream come true. I hardly ever get to shoot weddings and sleep in my own bed! It was FREEZING that day, but Megan and Dave toughed it out and let me take photos outside ( I’m a slave driver that way, anything for a good photo, even if my hands do go numb! ; )
to see the rest of their wedding photos click here https://lenaephotography.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/chivtington-wedding-checotah-oklahoma/
Then we skipped to summer, and after I ran a super fun contest called ( love is a verb ) Heather and Stephen WON the contest of a free photo shoot, and then in turn decided to hire me as their wedding photographer! I really just adore these two. So sweet : )
To see their engagement photos click here https://lenaephotography.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/heather-and-stephen-tulsa-engagement-photographer/
To see the rest of their wedding photos click here https://lenaephotography.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/the-parker-wedding-stinchcomb-mansion-tulsa-oklahoma/
Ashley and Brandon : ) they got married June 29th 2013. I have known Ashley since I was a toddler from church, and fell in love with her and Brandon’s love story! Make sure to check out their engagement photos as well as their wedding ones, we went to lots of special locations for them!
Then September 21st, Josh and Meghan got married in Kansas! ( Just kidding it was in Newkirk just North of Ponca City, but we FELT like we were in Kansas ; )!) They transformed Meghan’s grandparents land into a beautiful wedding venue, and I loved it!
To see the rest of their wedding photos click here https://lenaephotography.wordpress.com/2013/09/24/josh-and-meghan-wedding/
Chelce and Dane introduced me to what life was like in Kingfisher, Oklahoma when I shot their wedding and engagement photos! They got married October 12th 2013 ( yes the same day as OU Texas) I LOVED their engagement photos, ah the wheat, her stunning red hair… just loved them.
Engagement photos https://lenaephotography.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/chelce-and-dane-wheat-field-engagment-session/
ohhhh and then guess what wedding was next?! When people ask me ” how is business going?” I feel like one of my friends next to me always answers, ” She’s doing great, she shot a wedding in Cabo this year” haha which is true, and I guess I can base my business success on steps like this! in 2013 Anje and Brian swept Josh and I off our little feet and flew us to Cabo to an all inclusive resort for us to
party with them. I mean shoot their wedding…. cough… cough…. But really people, if you’re going to get married. Do it in another country and ask me to come with you, just, really. It’s the only way to go ; )
Engagment Session https://lenaephotography.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/brian-and-anje-nautical-engagement-session/
Wedding Video https://vimeo.com/77463002
Then in December my little brothers best friend’s sister Aubrey got married ( wasn’t that a funny country mouth full?) and Aubrey and her mom picked me to capture her and Michael’s day, and their engagement photos and Aubrey’s Bridals!! I had so much fun at their wedding, they are such a cool and easy going couple!
Engagement photos https://lenaephotography.wordpress.com/2013/12/03/aubrey-and-michael-oklahoma-engagement-photographer/
Thank you again Jill, Bethanni, Meghan, Heather, Ashley, Megan, Chelce, Anje and Aubrey for a wonderful 2013. Also thank your super awesome husbands Michael, Lee, Dave, Stephen, Brandon, Josh, Dane, Brian and Michael for putting up with me making them snuggle you in public and for following them almost stalker like during the wedding ; )
Also thank your parents ( or grandparents, or yourselves) for flipping the bill for me to continue to grow my business, go to movies with my honey, and buy new shoes to allow me to run around weddings like a crazy. Thank you for suggesting me to your friends, and thank you for being so incredibly.
I am ridiculously blessed to be in this business and I hope to continue to spread the love of Christ and further his kingdom through my work.
Here’s to 2014!