a lot can change in one year.
through sweat and tears, i’ve managed to still keep this blog going, 100% due to all these truly talented wedding photographers and friends who constantly send me features. i’ve also moved into a new full time day job at a new smaller, much smaller, company. all my days are spent helping find new talent to work at the company and it consists of a lot of emails, scheduling, logistics, phone calls, meetings, etc. because it is a smaller company, there is no way to hide- any lack of effort on your part, you will be exposed. and let me tell you guys, i absolutely am in love with that challenge. i’ve thrown myself into this job the past few months and maybe got slightly exhausted, but the hunger and drive to do really well keeps me going. for those who are familiar with my blog and me, you know that i live for that stuff. for the past six years, i’ve somehow managed to sneak this blog in amongst a full-time day job, working front desk at a workout studio, trying to deal with the needs of family and hoping to keep friendships alive- with only a slight, almost noticeable loss of sanity. this blog has been purely a labor of love. i’ve never really believed in sponsorships or ads because i know i could never guarantee inquiries or bookings. therefore, always felt grimy about the idea of moving towards that direction. i have adored every minute of this and what i have been able to create and showcase here. it’s been an honor to feature so much talent.
again, a lot can change in one year.
it’s super hard for me to write this so i hope you all understand this was not an easy decision and respect my thoughts. and so here it is…
EVER OURS IS GOING ON AN INDEFINITE HIATUS (at the end of this year)
there were a multitude of factors that led me to this and i shall try to articulate them as best as i can below.
1. i have always believed that if you find joy in something, you keep that joy no matter what and make those sacrifices. it’s what i’ve done for the past six years in order to keep this blog going. but there was a tipping point for me this year. when the Nepal earthquakes happened, Utterly Engaged and I tried to do our usual round of fundraising and rallying our community to help others in dire need. in 2011, when Japan had their deadly earthquake and tsunami, our community came together to raise about $74,000 in two and half weeks from about 1,400 individual donations. $74,000 in two and half weeks. this was before Instagram, so we were relying on Twitter and Facebook and word of mouth. in 2013, when Philippines was rocked with a horrid typhoon, a handful of photographers came together to offer sessions as donations and word of mouth helped us raise about $19,000 in two and half weeks. this time around for Nepal, we barely reached $7,000. it was incredibly disheartening for me. no matter how much we tweeted, posted on FB and Instagram, we seemed to be met with radio silence. barely anyone shared the post, let alone donated. first realize, i never EVER expect people to donate. i understand not everyone is in a financial situation to. i do appreciate those who donated even just $5. but it was truly shocking to me to see how hard it was to get people to share our posts AND worst of all when they share a caption on Instagram, people would simply “like” the photo and that was it. no one paid attention to what was actually being said in the caption. as frustrating as this was, it made me realize how self absorbed we seemed to have become and i didn’t want to be part of it anymore. it was disgraceful. i felt that somewhere along the lines, social media has given everyone the “ok’ to be “all about me”, it has fed egos and made everyone an “expert”. part of the joy of blogging was the fact that i could use this as a platform to do good. but seeing how this community became harder and harder rally the past two times, i’m sorry…it just sucked out the joy. which leads me to…
2. the wedding photographer community. let me be clear, this blog doesn’t run at all without the wedding photographer community. i’ve been beyond lucky to grow an audience of solid gold wedding photographers organically. the support for this blog has been absolutely amazing. the submissions keep growing and the readership keeps expanding. every day, i am lucky to discover new talent. i’m incredibly flattered that so many of you keep spreading the word about this blog. which is why bowing out from the blog was a hard decision to make. but there was an adverse effect with this growth, at least for me. it’s two fold. when i first started this blog, it consisted me of emailing photographers directly to ask their permission to use their images. this established these beautiful friendships that i cherish so much. with the growth of the blog and having submissions come in, which i am so grateful for, the double edge sword is that genuine and authentic relationship seems lost. as much as i appreciate the love and the wanting to be on the blog from so many wedding photographers, i feel guilty that i don’t truly know who these people are behind the lens. i miss the interaction. instead of saying “thanks for your submission and files, you’ll be up on this date”, i long for the “hey, let’s google hangout now”. the other aspect of this adverse effect is that as a sort of “third party”, i sometimes feel the wedding photographer community doesn’t fully appreciates what they get to do. there are definitely some that are so happy to capture the best of moments of a couple and you see it through the joy of their work, but there are more than a handful who seem to constantly whine and complain about the smallest things. the negativity and noise are often so petty, and it doesn’t make me happy to represent the community. i’m not sure what happened over the past year or so. i’m sure that because i’m in my little corner of the earth, i’m only exposed to just a tiny population of it. but still, where’s the heart? maybe i’m just naive and i say, when you have a job you love, stop complaining so much. sure, you get your bad days, but focus on what you get to do and why you started it in the first place. if you still don’t love it, get out…stop dragging everyone else down. which leads me to…
3. i started to view this blog as a chore. and that’s not why i have this blog. this is supposed to be my hobby. i want to love the things i do and pour my heart into it. i don’t want to resent this blog. this blog came into my life at a time when i was bored and wanted to do something fun and different. i had NO IDEA what path it was about to take me on. but i am SO incredibly grateful for it. at my 30th birthday party recently, more than half the people there were wedding photographers or friends i had met through blogging. i felt so blessed to have these friendships via the blog. i have thoroughly enjoyed the doors this blog has opened me to. there’s an entire world out there that the general public isn’t aware of. but as with any job and hobby, i’ve had to make a lot of sacrifices and my family has probably been hit the hardest. given that i have a full time day job, when i come home, i’m exhausted. it’s a struggle to have to answer more emails again when i get home since that’s what i’ve been all day long. i usually end up doing all my blog work on the weekend- that consists of answering all the emails, downloading all the images for the next week, culling and selecting images, writing up all the posts for the following week and scheduling all of those. that usually ends up being about 8 hours of weekend day leaving no time to really hang out with family or by myself to just relax. and this is just the basic responsibilities of being a blogger, let’s not forget about the fact that you have to tweet, instagram, phhhoto, snapchat, facebook, pinterest, and who knows what other thing is next that you have to do to keep on top of the game. now that i’m 30 and not getting any younger, i want to enjoy myself and savor my time with my family and my quiet time for myself. i. need. a. break. selfish move, but hey, i’m fortunate enough to have a day job that i get along with and that i can fall back on. which leads me to…
4. i could never be a full time blogger. i’ve realized i’m not a fan of the attention and who are all these strangers? maybe i’m just getting older..ahaha. i’ve been at this as a hobby for six years and i’ve truly valued the genuine and authentic relationships more than anything and above anything else. i don’t have a lot of followers on my social media feeds, but i notice the more i gain, the more i get anxious about the photographers i featured that day- did they get more click throughs, did they gain more followers, did they get enough likes from the photo i picked on instagram…the thoughts are endless and when i don’t meet expectations, i’m disappointed. then it’s this domino effect of i’m not doing a good enough job. no one is listening anymore. i’ve missed the boat. all that anxiety is so silly compared to the bigger picture, but it seeped in and that’s when you realize, maybe this blog isn’t your hobby anymore if it’s not making you happy and giving you anxiety.
i hope that this doesn’t make me sound unappreciative and ungrateful for this blog and those that follow it. because i sincerely do feel honored and flattered that so many of you have sent your work this way to be featured on here. the amount of squeals of delight when i see certain submissions roll in, the pride i have felt to see photographers grow in their careers, the 2398443982475843998475 images i have looked at of pure, raw, beautiful emotions and love….nothing will ever compare to that. even to this day, i am still receiving utterly beyond words beautiful work from talent all over the world. i 100% believe that i’ve had the fortunate experience of featuring THE most talented and world renowned wedding photographers out there. i also have to say that you have been there for me through the worst of times. as many of you know, i’ve lost a few dearly loved ones while i’ve had this blog. the one that blindsided me hit me the hardest and every day i still struggle a little bit. but there aren’t enough words to describe the outpour of support in the aftermath and still to this day. thank you from the bottom of my heart to each and every one of you for coming here day in and day out to look at the blog. i wish i could hug every one of you and throw some confetti your way.
what does this mean for the rest of the year?
i’ll be accepting submissions til they fill up the rest of the year. i’m already at mid- October. i am still 100% committed to and dedicated to all posts through the end of the year. half of me feared to make this announcement now as maybe submissions will stop, but at the same time, i wanted to be as fair as possible to you all. i still semi want to do a “best of 2015″ collection again, but we’ll see if when i do my call out for it, if we get enough interest. it would be totally awesome to have that as the last thing on the blog. that project is something i always treasure doing.
so there you have it.
six years of absolute labor of love poured into this thing called a blog.
i’m obviously still around to hang out with people. duh. you might see me pop up on a few other things to help wedding photographers out, including attempting to be a photographer’s assistant at weddings here and there. so i’m still here, just not ON here. definitely feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.
and again, no amount of words can really truly ever describe the thanks and appreciation i have for all the experiences, friendships, love and support not only for this blog, but for me personally for the past six years. i hope to continue some of these outside of the blog. but ultimately understand that this might be the end of the road for others. thank you for giving me the gift and opportunity to cheer on so much talent and fall in love with wedding photography and storytelling. it’s been an honor.
i’m leaving you with some of my favorite images that have stood out in my mind and from photographers who have meant the world to me for the past six years. just a heads up, there’s a LOT of images. it’s hard to pick from 29743379284756379 plus images that mean so much to me over the past six years so bear with me.
these are only 50 images from 50 different wedding photographers that have made an impact on my life. this is only a small handful. the best part is all of these have become personal friends and i am incredibly blessed and so proud to know each and every one of them. please know that every single photographer that has sent images in or have reached out in some form or another has made the blog for the better. again, thank you so much.
p.s. i’m on vacation for the next two weeks so no posts. follow where i’ll be on instagram and snapchat (confettiwizard).