The last 20 or so minutes of the Beatles’ “Abby Road” was a medley of snippets of songs that the lads had started writing but never finished.  This post is sort of my “Abby Road” medley,  things I wanted to say, but really couldn’t find a way to make the idea flow with the original post I was writing, or just some random thoughts that really didn’t flesh out into a bigger post.

I think Paul should have sung “Her Majesty” at the Opening Ceremony.

During the Creative Live workshop viewers can submit their favorite quote by the presenter via Twitter and if selected there is a nice prize.  I submitted one on the first day.  It won!  However, they gave the prize to someone else who had submitted the same quote.  I figured that maybe it was a first come, first win on the submitted posts.  The last day of the workshop, I heard a real grabber and posted it right away, fingers flying over the keyboard like a deranged secretary trying to meet a deadline.  This quote was for a really big prize worth $2,000.  As the hosts read off the quote I recognized it as my quote.  My heart was all a flutter with the anticipation of hearing my name.  But my name sounds nothing like Alice Smith.  Bummer, man.  I pick two winning quotes but come away as empty as the Minnesota Vikings at Superbowl time.  Both winners were also women.  Both people picking the winners were women.  Not that I believe in conspiracy theories, but…

The winning quote, by the way, was “the shot may not be perfect, but the bride’s reaction was perfect.”

While taking one of my online classes, I was very disappointed to find out that Dick’s Sporting Goods does not qualify as a boutique.

I also learned from class that a way to help me determine how to “brand” my photography business is to check out my closet and look to see what kind of colors I have.  Great advice.  However, since I taught at Apollo High School for 24 years,my closet was pretty much full of clothes that were the school colors of navy and gold.  After 24 years those colors pretty much became my colors.

Joe Buissink says he doesn’t hand out business cards and gave a logical reason as to why.  It may be great advice, but since I just paid a bunch of money to get my cards designed and printed, I am going to be handing out those bad boys.

School starts for all my friends at Apollo this week.  The sad state of affairs is that instead of relaxing and getting mentally refreshed for the first day of school, my friends will be at school this weekend getting their classrooms ready.  They have been back since last Monday, but that time is all spent in meaningless meetings that could easily be covered by a memo.  When I started teaching we went in for 2 days.  One day had meetings and the other day was for room prep.  I never had to go in on a weekend.  Administrators, who rail against busy-work, are the worse at coming up with busy-work for their faculty.

The Olympics are wrapping up.  I will give my final report on my feelings about the Olympics in the next couple of days.  Today I will quickly review the 2010 Winter Olympics held in Vancouver.  When the Olympics are on, the primary focus in the house is figure skating, single and pairs, and ice dancing.  Therefore my strongest recollection is of Kim Yu-na from South Korea achieving the highest score ever and winning the gold in ladies singles.  I also recollect skiers Hank Bode and Lindsey Vonn.  Both of them sort of had comeback Olympics as they were less than successful in 2006.  The press didn’t care much for Bode, and Vonn won gold, but then crashed out or finished out of the medals in her other 4 races.  She still got  Wheaties box cover.  Snowboarding, moguls and such are only of interest to X-sports fans.  A Georgian Luger was killed in a practice run.  The video of his death went viral.  Max Jones became the youngest accredited journalist at the Olympics at the age of 13.   The weather was cold.

One of the best teachers I have ever known said this to me my first year of teaching, “The most important thing is to care about the kids.  Do that and everything else falls into place.”  I am taking that mantra into my wedding photography business.  Care about the bride and everything else will fall into place.


Today’s musical choice for inspiration was, of course, “Abby Road”






At the time I made my commitment to write one blog each day for 30 days, I was also in the process of posting one song a day for my 100 Ultimate Road Trips Songs as compiled by me.  As soon as I started blogging each day, I completely quit doing my road trip song posts.  So much for my ability to multitask.

It is exactly 13 days until my first official wedding shoot.  I would be less than honest if I didn’t say I am a bit nervous, yet brimming with confidence.  I have tried to get as prepared as I can for the big day.  I have taken three great classes from Diana Steffen.  I have also listened to a talk by Melissa Jill and taken advantage of an hour of coaching from her, as well as watched a couple of Creative Live session with Jasmine Star.  Not only are these women fantastic wedding photographers, but they all have outstanding business models and are willing to share their knowledge and expertise with aspiring young (and semi middle-aged) wedding photographers.

However, there was one little thing that was picking at the back of my brain during all of these classes and sessions.  The reality of this business is that it is all about the bride.  All the fabulous people I was learning from were either brides or potential brides.  My fellow classmates in the online classes were all brides or potential brides.  The nagging thought in the back of my mind was can a guy pull this gig off?  I mean, when the suggestion is made for me to  “giggle with bridesmaids before the ceremony,” I am just not seeing that happening.  For goodness sakes, my nickname at school was Grumpy Gramps.  How is G.G. going to giggle with anybody, let alone bridesmaids?

See folks, men and women are different.  I know that for a fact because Time Magazine told me this back in 1995.  I also am aware that there are extremely successful male wedding photographers in the business.  And in spite of all the wealth of knowledge I was learning from my teachers and mentors, I was concerned about being able to relate to the brides I would hopefully someday be shooting.  I had spent the last 31 years of my life teaching big, young men how to block and tackle.  Somehow that doesn’t seem to be a skill needed at your average wedding.   The bottom line is that I was getting the best information about the technical and artistic side of wedding photography, and excellent information about sound business practices.  There were just some aspects of the wedding that I felt I needed a guy’s point of view, like just how does a guy “giggle with the bridesmaids?”

As luck would have it, during the last three days Creative Live offered a workshop taught by Joe Buissink.  That’s Joe, not Jo.  The cool thing about Creative Live is if one can block out the time, one can watch the whole workshop live.  Just like the ladies, Joe takes great pictures and has a great business model.  But I already have a good foundation from the classes I took from Diana plus some of the tips from Melissa.  I really didn’t take the workshop for those aspects of the business.  I really just wanted to see the male perspective of how he works with his potential brides.

In Diana’s class she emphasized that ont of the most important things to do is to always be yourself, to be truthful and honest.  This is what I would call a first principle of the business.  This first principle was echoed by Melissa and others, and this first principle was practiced by Joe in his workshop.  After the workshop, I concluded it really doesn’t matter if one is a senor or senorita, a dude or a dudette, a mr. or a ms., one of the keys to success is to be true to oneself.

At this time I imagine that most everyone who reading this is mentally slapping the back of my head and telling me this is a no-brainer. But when I get a little nagging idea in the back of my head, I have to explore that option until I get the answer I need and the nagging in the back of the mind goes away.  It’s how I am.  If I didn’t try to fix the nagging voice, I wouldn’t be true myself.

I also want to say that I am happy the  workshop helped me with the whole “giggling with brides” dilemma.  Joe said the same thing, but from the man’s perspective.  He said. “talk to the bridesmaids with a sense of humor.  Get them laughing and smiling.”

Which leads me to conclude:

“Men are from Mars, Women from Venus”

“Men search Google+, Women search Pinterest.”

“Men say ‘sense of humor’, Women say ‘giggle’ “

Musical Inspiration:  “Mender of Hearts” by Sing Kauhr and Kim Robertson