My husband and I were married in Cuba at the beautiful Breezes Jibacoa Resort. Everything about our trip was amazing – our friends and family that came along, the completely awesome coral reef that was directly in front of the resort, the locals (who always make a trip worthwhile) and even the food. Our wedding day was one of the best days of my life, with one very large exception-the resort’s “professional” photographer wasn’t actually a professional…she wasn’t even good enough to be called an amateur. The day was wonderful, but our pictures, not so much. Thank goodness for families with digital point and shoots!
When I made the decision to make my hobby of photography into a career, one of the ideas that was floating around in my head was to eventually offer destination wedding photography. My dream was to help brides avoid the heartbreak that comes with having a sub par photo session. However, in my head, I thought this would be a long time down the road, so I don’t advertise for destination weddings on my website.
About a month ago, my friend Donna and I spent a few hours creating vision boards about what we wanted our lives to become. My vision board was built around “positivity” and branched from that into career, lifestyle, spirituality, wealth and prosperity, intimacy and sexuality and, of course, home life. I made sure that I cut out a picture that reminded me of destination wedding photography and pasted it into my career section-just to cover my future goals. Here’s a pic of the career corner of my vision board.
As you can see, there are lots of photography tidbits on it, but I also included many positive affirmations to remind the universe about how much I believe in myself and how I have the confidence I will need to succeed. Once the board was done (for now), I hung it up on my office wall and just let it be. Once in awhile I look up at it when I need a break and just let it sink in to my psyche again.
And now, the strangest thing just happened. A few weeks ago, I received an email from a nice gal named Kate who asked me to send her some of my wedding portfolio pics (because my wedding website page is undergoing a revamp right now-when I have time between all my other 182 tasks!!!). She didn’t tell me anything about her wedding plans, just that she had seen my portraits and loved them and wanted to see some wedding pics too. So, I sent her some pics and didn’t really think much more about it because I’ve been so busy lately.
Two hours ago, I received a call from Kate’s fiancee, Richard and, after we talked for fifteen minutes like old friends, he dropped a huge ball. “Kate and I want you to shoot our wedding in Costa Rica. She has been searching for a photographer for three months and she has come back to your website again and again and again. She says it’s one of the most down-to-earth websites she’s seen yet.” Wow! It’s so cool to hear when someone likes what I’ve done with my site!
I managed to keep my voice calm and collected, but I was practically dancing in my chair at the thought of travelling to CR to shoot a wedding. We talked about how I haven’t actually figured out prices for a destination wedding and how I’d have to have a second shooter come with me, and the cost of the trip, etc. He didn’t skip a beat and said, “My Katie gets what she wants and she wants you. We’ll pay for both trips and we’ll give you $6000 for the wedding.” Uhhh, uhhh, duhhh…Sounds reasonable (as I jumped up and down, trying not to sound out of breath).
My head was reeling and my spirits were soaring as I stared up at my vision board, at the picture of the bride and groom running on the beach and thought, Leave it to the universe to give back to me when I least expect it!!! I tentatively accepted his very generous offer and flipped open my date book to jot down the details when he dropped another ball – a huge, heavy, lead-filled ball – right on my bubble of elation. “We’re getting married on May 22nd.” Nooooooooooooooooooooo, I wanted to scream. I have a wedding booked for May 23rd.
There is no way I could shoot Kate and Richard’s wedding on the 22nd and fly all the way back to Kamloops in time to shoot Mandy and Graham’s wedding on the 23rd. I kept wondering why I didn’t ask the date before I got my hopes up so high, only to have them crash like US Airways Flight 1549. My bubble burst, my voice cracked and I told Richard I had already committed to the date and I couldn’t, in good conscience, or in good business, tell my clients that I couldn’t shoot their wedding because I had a “more desirable” offer. Truth is, I’m stoked to shoot Mandy and Graham’s wedding and I’ve been looking forward to it since October.
I’m not sure who’s more disappointed, me or Kate and Richard. He even tried to offer me another $2000, but I just couldn’t do it. On the one hand, I’m really bummed that this happened, but on the other, I’m still ecstatic that people out there like my work enough to want to pay me to traipse around the globe to shoot for them.
Kate and Richard are from Vancouver, so I sent them the names of some Vancouver photographers who are members on Photography Mentor and who have a style similar to mine (basically all over the place!!!). I hope Kate finds exactly what she’s looking for and I hope I one day receive more offers to shoot destination weddings.
In truth, my heart is feeling a little achy about the whole thing, but the universe works in mysterious ways and perhaps this was just the push I needed to boost my confidence enough to start thinking seriously about destination weddings after all.
Happy Tricked Out Tuesday everybody – may the universe bring you back all the love and positive vibes you send out to it.