United Conference, Arizona

If you are here to just see some pretty vaca pictures, then keep scrolling my friend!
They are down there for ya, (even the food ones)!

Before I get to them though, I just wanted chat!

It has been a crazy year. Absolutely, insanely crazy!

Even though most of it was a “good crazy”:
I tripled my bookings from last year
Purchased new equipment
Actually had my camera bodies cleaned
Finally put together a desk
Printed my first wedding album
Designed my new website
&& Traveled to 15 cities in 12 different states*
(*Seven of which were destination sessions)

It wasn’t all fun and games:
I had the worst migraines before I realized I needed computer glasses
Went a solid two weeks of only eating protein bars (because I thought I should finish editing)
Missed a wedding of a really good friend
&& Had 3 weeks straight of experiencing a mental burn-out.

I pushed myself to the edge because I thought that was the way to run a business.

Last week I attended a conference, run by the very company that helped publish my website. I listened to speakers, took copious notes, hugged so many creative beings, and realized one important thing:
The perfection that I tried to strive for this past year, took a large toll on myself. Comparison was my thief of joy. I lost myself to a perfect Instagram feed, and a 100 hour work week. I missed out on aspects of my life that I needed, because I thought that was the way to become the best wedding photographer.

But you guys, people hired me for my work because it is an extension of my personality: from my love of Harry Potter + binge eating peanut butter to my giddy squeals + awkward chatting. Brides welcomed me with warm open arms, even when my nail polish was chipped and my makeup was a mess. They loved me for me, so why was I trying so hard to believe I wasn’t good enough?

This isn’t a reach into your soul post where I’m telling you that I found a new direction on life or started praying to a different God.

These are my words, thanking you!

Thank you for being my clients and friends and loved ones.
Thank you for stepping into my life and trusting me as I captured yours.
Thank you for loving my perfect self as imperfectly as I am.

Thanks to this profession, I have the ability to curate perfection. I can spend hours editing a photo to make it completely and incandescently flawless. But that isn’t life. That isn’t human. And you know what?! No one is perfect.  And those that seem to be, are fooling you.
I spend a large amount of time telling my couples that their natural and candid selves are the best part about them.
I showcase it. I base my entire brand off of it.
So after a week of education, I disconnected from the world, mentally.
I started taking my own advice, and believing in my approach again.

&& as we enter the season of thanks, I just wanted to say one more time:
thank you again for being yourself, so I can truly be mine! 🙂

xo // riss


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