Fertility Vacation 2.0 // How Do I Get Braver?

How do I become braver than I currently am? What is the practice?

I know I’m brave because I’m sitting here wiping away the tears. I’m willing to take risks and I’ve made it this far.

Maybe I keep trying to imagine how getting pregnant would change the rest of our lives? Diapers, pajamas, teenage hijinks; maybe that’s a way.

I feel like I’m lost in the hows and maybes.  

I’m not sure I’ll get on the plane.
I’m not sure if I’ll walk into the clinic.
I’m not sure I’ll give myself the shots.

It could lead to our dreams coming true, but I’m not sure I’m strong enough to do any of it.

My friend Vanessa sent me this text when I needed it most:

“Remember we are not people that allow fear to run our lives. Fear does not control you. YOU control the fear. That doesn’t mean not feeling it, that means not allowing it to make your decisions. This is your choice, and when I say yours, I mean your heart and soul. Choose to enjoy life with the man you love. Do not choose fear.”

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6 things // August Feels

Photographing: lots of engagement sessions. Portraits are my jam. I had a fun time with Alyssa and Krystel in North Park. The murals and the neighborhood in general are inspiring. - Suzanne

Watching: Game of Thrones. I'm so in love with Sunday. - Suzanne

Girl crush: On my acupuncturist Laurie Morse. She is such an extraordinary person and healer. She has taken me places I've never gone. I really value her perspective. I'm so appreciative of having someone so high vibe in my life. - Suzanne

Photographing: Working with Suzanne from Crown Weddings and Annette Gomez at last weekend's wedding was a great experience.  - Mike

Reading: I'm reading more. More about philosophy and listening to podcast on mindset and detachment. Really a turning point for me in this mid-life crisis. - Mike

Preparing: For our next Europe trip. Many hopes and dreams lingering in the air. Life changes seem to be always right around the corner. - Mike

xoxo

Suzanne & Mike

Some corporate love for UCSD : Around the World

In the midst of beautiful weddings, parades and travels I recently photographed a corporate event for UCSD for 2500 hundred of their favorite people.  I look forward to this event every year because this group knows how to let loose.  Who would ever have thought that a company party could be this fun.  Kristen Garuba creates something spectacular and different every year and the night always ends on the dance floor with an epic band and the formal party turns into a night club.  This year they had a global theme - so yeah I was into that.

Cheers,

Mike

Happy Pride San Diego!

When you think about how lucky we are to live in such an accepting and inspiring community, I can't help but stop and think about the memories that have come from Pride. It has become almost like an extra holiday in San Diego. Pride is one summer weekend you do not want to miss. The excitement and energy running through everyone is exhilarating, you can feel the love and happiness of everyone.  It's nice to stop and look around and enjoy that moment of pure love and parade magic.   

Fun fact - the last image is of my friends Lindsey and Justina who were in the parade and I photographed their wedding 2 kids ago =)

xoxo Suzanne and Mike

Tara and Jason : A family estate wedding Part 1

I love Donna Urban Events and I'm so thankful that she introduced me to her family friends - Tara and Jason.  It's been a great year getting to know them both, spending time on their ranch and hearing their story and what is important to them.  I loved the way Tara's voice would light up when she spoke about her little Godson or how she always managed to ask how I was doing with the IVF whenever we spoke.  Her generosity of spirit and love for life was mentioned again and again in the speeches.  You know that song, Wake Me Up Before You Go Go, where he says, "I don't want to miss it when you hit that high"? That's what I thought of while watching Tara on the dance floor. It was amazing - like a concert - she let her hair down and let loose and was pure magic. The Wayne Foster band certainly matched Tara's vibration.  No one could take their eyes off of her pure joy abandon.

I love how Jason is always there for her.  He is like a rock.  He's someone who will stand by you.  So smart and kind.

xoxo Suzanne

Rentals: Classic Party Rental Mark Sedan

Photographer: SheWanders Photograhpy

Videographer: Braven Carver Films

Florist: French Buckets

Make Up: Sara Zeller

Catering: 24 Carrots

Band: Wayne Foster

String Quartet: Del Lago Trio

Sound Engineer: Audio Tek Sound

Cake: Sweet and Saucy Cortney

Photo Booth: Focus Photo Suites

Transportation: Cedars Parking 

4 Things // Beautiful Celebrations

Celebrating : Family dinner celebrating my brother's new license as a massage therapist. Oysters at Beer Fish is the way to go! I love celebrating. - Suzanne

Meditating : Jess Lively guided meditation is so interesting. It's a wild idea to choose your feeling for the day. I like to start mine as if I'm in Santorini, Greece after a bike ride and a swim in the ocean. - Suzanne

Dreaming of : Getting back in shape. Looking to clean up my diet and get back to a good clean eating routine. More hiking, running and boxing. When my body is peaking, my creativity peaks as well. My endurance for long wedding days and difficult situations are all positively effected by my fitness levels. - Mike

Photographing : Alexandra and Geoff's beautiful wedding day :)

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Creativity Tell All // Chelsea White of Maderas Golf Club

Chelsea is such a beautiful soul. I met her years ago at a wedding she was coordinating. She is grace under pressure. One of the coolest experiences we've had together is when Alex hired me to photograph their proposal at the Marine Room in La Jolla. I fell in love with both of them in that moment. I know she will bring that joy as a wedding specialist at Maderas Golf Club

How do you continually stay inspired and creative?

You would think that planning weddings and events every day would mean that I would avoid doing it in my free time, but the complete opposite is true. I love planning dinner parties and summer BBQs at my house. The satisfaction I feel when I see all my friends and family enjoying the food and details that my husband and I put together for one of our get-togethers is all it takes to remind me why I love what I do. That’s why I strive to make sure all my clients get to see that reaction from their guests on their special day.

Is there anything special or unique about your morning routine?

I am absolutely a creature of habit. My alarm goes off at 6:30 every morning. My mastiff Oden comes over for his morning snuggles, i.e. slobber kisses, and then I roll out of bed to have my morning java with my husband (this part is key; no matter what the agenda for the day, I always crave a warm cup of coffee to start it off).

If someone wanted to break into your industry, what advice would you give them?

Do it! It’s so rewarding and beautiful! The details are crucial. I think after awhile some people in this industry find that weddings can be a little repetitive. When you’ve seen one blush themed colored ballroom, you’ve seen them all. But here’s the thing - it’s our jobs to be detectives and find out the little details that make each of our couples unique. It’s those details that are going to cut through the chaos of the day and make it unforgettable.

Did you always know this career path was ‘the one’?

I went to college to learn the art of advertising. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. It wasn’t until after moving back home and waitressing to support myself that I was forced to really evaluate what would make me happy in a career. One day I was at home thinking about the things in life that I really enjoy; entertaining friends and family, making and enjoying great food, meeting new people and pretty things like flowers, art, love, etc. Then I had this epiphany; like a full blown, stop you in your tracks moment. I wanted to be a wedding planner.

What season inspires you most?

My knee jerk reaction is to say Spring, but if I really think about it, Autumn is my favorite. I spent the majority of childhood in Wisconsin where the change in season from summer to fall was truly magical. There is something so refreshing about crisp air, leaves crunching under your boots and a hot cup of coffee (all the greatest things involve coffee.)

Do you have any funny short stories or embarrassing moments from when you first got started?

I can’t think of any one particular moment off the top of my head, though I do recall that when I first started out, I thought it was always better to have an answer to everything, even if it wasn’t 100% true. I’m pretty sure a few mothers of the bride and grooms had their corsages on the wrong wrist for quite a while.

I’ve learned that there is no shame in saying, “You know what, I’m not sure the correct answer for that, but let me find out for you.”

What is the best advice you have been given?

Be yourself and don’t be afraid to say no.

What is your dream project?

I’d love to create a successful blog that people actually want to read, or write a novel. I’ve always loved to write. If I’m honest with myself, it’s probably the way I communicate best. The tricky part is figuring out what to write about that you think people would be interested in. Or maybe the hard part is just deciding not to care if anyone isn’t. I’m working on it.

If there was a song that played every time you worked on your craft, what would it be?

I have the most spastic collection of Pandora stations ever! My mood and energy always reflect in my music choices, so it’s not unusual to hear Norah Jones if you walk by my office in the morning, “Country Love Songs” if you walk by in the afternoon and “Today’s Top Hits” if I’m about to head out for a wedding. You know it’s a really good day, though, when I’m blasting the Justin Timberlake Radio.

Is there anything in particular you are obsessed with these days?

Gardening and finishing the puzzle that I started last weekend. Life can be hectic, so I relish the moments where I can zone out, but still get something accomplished.

What would you do if you had $40,900 for a vacation?

I’d take off a year and plan an around-the-world excursion with my husband! I have this sometimes overwhelming urge to travel and I’d love to have the opportunity to let go of adult responsibilities for a bit and just get a taste of what the world has to offer.

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4 Things // Tropical Love

So much goodness. 3 weddings and an epic event in two states. Mike and I are having all the fun this week.

Dreaming of: Today's Maui wedding for Francesca and Matt. It was so fun to photograph their proposal and now I get to meet all of their friends and family and photograph them getting married with my awesome sidekick Deme. - Suzanne

Listening to : So many podcasts as I drive around the island searching for the best coffee in maui. If you have any tips send them my way. - Suzanne

Photographing : Some people plan their wedding for over a year, and some people are so in love it takes a week.  I can't wait to set sail this weekend for a wedding on the bay. - Mike

Family : Twice a year my mom comes to visit from New York. She gets here on Monday for two weeks. My mom is one of my best friends. She's so cool and fits in wherever we go. I can't wait to grab a beer with her and try to find something new to show her. 

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4 Things // Pride & More

Photographing : Friday was a 25 person wedding on a 90 ft yacht. It was amazing to float around the bay and be part of an amazing party. I was treated like one of the guests and the couple had the best sense of humor! The always amazing Annette Gomez did the florals. - Mike

More photographing : On Saturday I shot an event that had over 2,500 people. Very mixed cultures with a live band and crazy dance party. What a night! - Mike

Talking to: Gaidin Nordic Warrior the last week. This little guy has been so chatty. I've been waiting for so long to hear what he thinks and all of a sudden he is sharing a little more. It turns out he wants to go to the park or go swimming. These have been his most common thoughts. I'm in Aunt heaven.

Dreaming of: Alexandra and Geoff's beautiful wedding at the Grand Del Mar. I just love Alexandra and her whole family. We met at a gala at SDMA and she also modeled for me for Exquisite Weddings a couple of years ago. It's all going to be a dream. 

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Palm Springs Photo Festival : Julie Blackmon

“[...]the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”"

Julie Blackmon is one of the mad ones.  She's kind and brilliant.  I love how her mind can create such layered stories.  I've admired her for so long and it was a dream come true to take a workshop from her.   I had wanted to take Julie's class last year and we couldn't quite fit it in the schedule.  So finally at long last I was sitting in the courtyard of the Korakia with a handful of other artists and Julie.  

Julie is a fine art portrait artist and I would say her work can best be described as a satirical look at domestic life in the midwest.  She draws inspiration from so many painters and places it was so nice to get to be in her brain and see how she creates her magic.  I hope some of her magic rubs off on me and adds a new ingredient to my creative vision.  Isn't that what we are all really looking for?  I know I'm always looking to add color, movement, a new sense of time and space to my work.  She's really inspired by 17th Century Dutch and Flemish paintings of domestic life.  My photographic journey has always been fueled by paintings as well, mostly Expressionism, Abstract Expressionism, and the Bay Area Figurative Movement. I think our shared love of paintings is one of the things that makes her work so compelling to me.  As a teacher she's laid back and cool and really open to sharing her process with us.  She has a beautiful color palette and a certain optimism that I'm drawn to. If you are thinking of taking a workshop I would highly suggest Julie's.  The class also came with the added bonus of meeting some really cool photographers.  The critiques were a lot of fun, I loved seeing everyone's work.  I left wanting to shoot every single day and not wanting to do any adulting - only fun.  If I'm honest it took me a few days to find my balance again ha ha.

 Here are a few of my impressions of Julie Blackmon's class Day 1 at the Palm Springs Photo Festival.

xoxo Suzanne

Free Download // Girl Gang

"She Rocks We Rock is women's empowerment group started in San Diego by female local businesses: The Creative Clique | Shoppe California | Thorne Artistry.  Our second networking event was a sell out at the new (and female-owned) You + Yours Distillery in East Village last Thursday. We are planning our next event for this fall to celebrate each other over delicious cocktails, light bites, beauty bar, shopping, networking, + more.

She Rocks We Rock is on a MAJOR mission: to connect and celebrate creative women in San Diego. We don't believe in competition, we believe in community.  

Hosted by women, for women, we wanted to create an easy-going networking event where female entrepreneurs and creative spirits could lift each other up.  She Rocks is a safe space to honor and celebrate each other's talents. " - Laurie Nicoud, The Creative Clique

Laurie and Amanda, two of the women behind She Rocks We Rock, are my studio mates and I am constantly inspired by their creative process. 

Follow @sherockswerock for event updates :)

Enjoy!

DOWNLOAD HERE

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