Monday, May 14, 2012


Last week I went to New York and shot engagement photos. Fucking ridiculous. I was there less than a week ago and it already feels like a giant blur. 

I had never been there before. NYC was sort of this representation of everything I was afraid of in life. NYC is epic. It's challenging. It's uncomfortable. It was the embodiment of every fear I have in my career, my marriage, motherhood. Does that sound crazy? IT IS JUST SO BIG. And going big terrifies me. But I went. And I survived. And you know what? NYC isn't any different than Chicago or San Francisco. It's just a shitload of people trying to live their lives without going nuts. It was easy to get around on the subways or on foot. No one mugged me. No one tried to sell me counterfeit Prada. No one even spoke to me. (Except tourists. I kept getting asked for directions from tourists.) It was kind of great. Big cities offer a level of anonymity that say... Omaha... doesn't have. 

I stayed in Tribeca and walked all over SoHo and the East Village. We shot over in Brooklyn in Dumbo (where I saw the $25 million clock tower apartment) and in Times Square. I visited Strawberry Fields alone on a rainy morning which broke my heart like you wouldn't believe. Standing outside the building where John Lennon lived and died was crazy. I tried to go to the MoMa but I made the mistake of taking a cab there. It was 30 minutes of hell wherein I clutched my mouth and tried not to puke in the backseat. I also met up with a friend from high school which was exciting on a whole different level. She was totally sweet and beautiful, just like she was 11 years ago when I last saw her. 

So - New York - loved it. It wasn't scary at all and working there was a dream. I felt big time. I feel like I hit a new high in my career. Someone actually paid for me to travel to another city that isn't in rural Iowa. That doesn't happen all the time.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The New Digs

Yesterday, I went with the other two photographers to check out the progress on our studio. Walls are up, still waiting on drywall and electrical. It should be finished any day now... In the meantime we have the little task of naming this studio. We started out thinking we'd just name it something like Studio 212 since we're in suite 212. But now that seems lazy and a waste of a great identity. The more we think about it, the more we're collaborating on a new business rather than opening a studio. We're in a sweet part of town with tons of amazing creative businesses. We have the potential of creating workshops, taking on large jobs, combining our skills on photo shoots, working with commercial clients... We want to be more than "those girls" in 212. I think we're going to go the route of consulting with a branding and identity company that's located in the building. And this is the point where I'm thinking WTF have you gotten yourself into??? When did you become so grown up? In the past month I've consulted with a CPA, a lawyer, a real estate agent and a branding agency. This shit is real, guys.

And then just so you can be sure that I'm still a major dweeb, I did something dumb this morning that I'm going to tell you about. I found out that someone I used to date also has a company in the building. I went on Facebook this morning to look him up and check out his biz but I made the mistake of doing so on my iPhone. Well, tiny buttons plus fumbley hands adds up to me accidentally sending him a friend request. I cancelled it as soon as I possibly could, but now I look like a major stalker. Which I am. But people don't need to know that.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

How I spent $5000 this week

Taxes! Taxes are so much fun when you're self-employed and married to someone who is also self-employed. I still owed on 2011 and my first quarter 2012 federal and state OH DON'T FORGET ABOUT THE STATE TAXES, CHRISTINE were due today, so I spent about $5000 in the last two days on fun things like government programs and public education. Yes, they need my money and I am a proud tax paying bleeding-heart Democrat... but do they really need so much of it?

And now that I'm totally broke I'm kinda regretting that girl's weekend shopping trip I just came back from... My new shopping policy is that I'm not allowed to buy anything until J.Crew's fall line comes out in September.

Word is out on the new studio. I consulted with my lawyer (because I was doing something that could potentially get me sued), and put in my notice to leave early. Turns out, I won't get sued. And I was able to pay my lawyer with a Whole Foods gift card and free photos. Hooray for bartering! Construction could be done as soon as three weeks. The space isn't technically ours until July but we've been given the okay to move in early to paint and prep.

This is such an amazing thing I'm doing. I don't mean that in a bragging way. I'm just saying that I never in a million years thought I would be doing something like this with my life.

Also equally impressive, I realized the other day that I was typing an email while watching HGTV. Like, my fingers and 1/2 my brain were doing work and my eyes and other 1/2 my brain were learning about the return value of basement remodeling. It was a proud moment.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Big news...

I have to let something out before I blow up and I don't have a safe public space to do it in. So, I'm putting it here since this blog is nearly all but abandoned and only read by people who end up here through errant google searches. (And maybe my sister!) 

I signed a lease on a studio today!!! I haven't put in my notice at my co-op that I'm leaving, so I'm trying unsuccessfully to keep it on the DL until I do. I'm going in on it with two other photographers. It's 100% ours, in an amazing part of town, in an amazing building - I don't want to let the entire cat out of the bag but the building name begins with a "Master" and ends with a "Craft." It's huge with beautiful natural light. We get to name our studio, get a logo and a sign... The whole shebang. I also have a new excuse to buy more furniture now. Gotta have a work space! And a fancy coffee maker.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Do you come here often?

I went out with a couple of lady friends last night to see a local band play. I was sitting at the bar and a man... let's just say he was unattractive in the most general and complete sense... hit on me. I informed him that I was married, to which he asked if I had a kid. (Because married is okay but being a mother is a deal breaker?) I told him yes and he replied - and this is golden - "Well, you've still got it because I find you attractive. I hope I made you feel good about yourself tonight." 

Ya. Thanks. Being someone's mom makes me feel like a total hag but THANK GOD you came along and made me feel better about myself. He actually made me feel terrible. I thought, really? That's all the ass I can pull these days? Good thing I married the hottest guy I ever dated because, obviously, I was never going to do any better. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A little glimpse of success in this parenting thing

Matt and I take turns waking up in the morning with Lennon. Today was my day to take morning duty. When he started crying at 5:30am (poor kid pooped his pants) my first reaction was "Noooo!" And then I realized there was poop involved and my reaction changed to "Fuuuuuuck!" We ate some breakfast and then I turned on the TV and naturally, because I'm a good mom, I picked Wayne's World for us to watch. 

Then this happened:

Lennon asked for me to pick him up (asking = hands making grabby motions) and he sat down in my lap on the couch. After a few minutes, he scooted off my lap and laid down on the couch. I laid down next to him, put my arms around his adorable little body, and we cuddled and watched TV. It was the first time he's ever done that. It was one of the best moments of my life. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


I'm working on a few new resolutions in conjunction with the new year and new job. I feel like I really need to work on my communication skills. In business, I'm terrible about answering emails in a timely manner and I am turrrrible (say that in a Cleveland voice) about answering voicemails. I freaking hate voicemails. I need emails so I have written documents for sessions and weddings. Working things out over the phone leaves way too much room for someone to forget something. (Someone = me.) And when someone emails me and then immediately leaves me a voicemail to say that they've emailed me... Well, you're going straight into the trash folder. Those people are high maintenance and usually cause problems so I ignore them.

See? Major communication issues.

And in my personal life I'm even worse. My friends aren't going to give me a bad review on WeddingWire if I don't answer their emails right away so I usually flag them for "later" and then forget about it for 3 weeks. And then it seems too late to answer without looking like a jerk, so I just let it sit there and make me feel guilty. I'm bad about texting too. My parents, sister and husband are the only people who are guaranteed to get return texts. I'm just a flake and I'm bad at relationships. Always have been. I'm a lifelong loner and retaining friendships over long periods of time isn't an easy thing for me. I don't fall out of like with my friends. We don't fight. Nothing goes wrong. The only explanation is that part of me simply doesn't care. It doesn't really bother me to be isolated from people so I let my friends sort of drift away without making any attempt to keep them. It's a pretty shitty personal trait.

Other resolutions:

Stop shopping - Even though I'm buying a new couch today.
Take a vacation - The goal is Iceland but the reality is Minneapolis.
Work out bigger business goals for 2013 - I'm starting to think about finding my own studio.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Finally. 2012.

Hey ole blog! So, here's what's been going on:

My plan to quit my job in March 2012 got bumped up when I had a complete meltdown in October and decided to leave work at Thanksgiving. Best. Decision. Ever. Between the wedding album orders rolling in, all my fall weddings, and families getting photos done for the holidays, I was working at least 60 hours a week. It took until Christmas to catch up on everything.

And then Christmas happened. Or rather Day of Epic Disappointment happened. The plan was to host Christmas with my family for the first time ever so I went a little crazy. I bought holiday plates, table cloths, decorations for the house, $200 worth of food... And then I spent Christmas day hunched over the toilet. My family couldn't come over because my grandparents are in their 90s and can't afford being sick. I crawled out of the bathroom to watch Lennon open his presents and then I went back to bed and slept until December 26th. Wouldn't you know it, the next day I was totally fine.

I'm more than ready for the holidays to be over. It really feels like my new life is starting in 2012. There's no office to go back to, no shitty career that I don't like. When I go to a wedding, it feels like I'm going to work. I go and I work my ass off and I bring home a paycheck. It's good stuff.