My first wedding of the season was such a wonderful start…the weather cooperated Memorial Day weekend (although, I admit I was anxiously watching it for days because it did predict rain) and the day ran so smoothly. I love it when that happens.  You always expect something to go not exactly as planned, but Eryn was such an organized and laid-back bride (what a combo, right?!?) and everything seemed to just go her way!  Her team of vendors really pulled through and I enjoyed working with each and every one of them!

The Veranda at the Whitcomb is also a beautiful venue.  Situated on the bluff of St. Joseph, Michigan, it boasts an rooftop ceremony site and an old-world stone feeling outdoor reception area with views of Lake Michigan.

I had such a hard time choosing a few of my favorites that day, but narrowed it down to these few:

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VENDORS:

Venue & Catering: The Veranda at the Whitcomb

Flowers:  Flowers by Anna

Dress:  BHLDN

Wedding Coordination:  1928 Planning Co.

Videographer:  Inspired Media

 

Get your passport ready, because I’ve got a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT today!

One of my goals for 2017 was to photograph a destination wedding or elopement (specifically on my bucket list: Greece, Italy, Scotland, Iceland, France and/or the Caribbean  🙂   In order to make that goal a reality, I’m so excited to announce that I’m offering all 2018 international destination brides FREE wedding or elopement photography fees.  That means the ONLY fees I’ll charge are travel (cost of flight for myself and a second shooter + 3 nights lodging)!  Wahoo!  So, if you’re running off to Mexico, South America, the Caribbean or Europe I want to photograph it!

Let’s chat if you’re a bride who’s interested (or you know someone who might benefit from this), and contact me at hello@breannabellphotography with your date, location and other wedding details to see if we can make this happen!

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I’m so excited to announce that as of today I’ve opened up the applications for my next Senior Rep program!  This year, I’m only accepting 3-5 girls from the graduating class of 2018 (with the deadline April 5, 2017 to apply!), so make sure to get your application in soon!

I’m looking for a few fun-loving, hardworking, and smart girls to rep in my program.  As a rep, there are so many benefits!  Not only do you a FREE, styled mini-shoot, a hugely discounted full senior session, but you also receive FREE professional hair & make-up, personal styling, custom-senior rep cards, 20-25 digital images and 50% off all prints.

If you’re interested, I’d love to hear from you!  Just fill out the application below and you’ll receive a detailed guidebook with more information!

 

 

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Continuing with the #bloomIGchallenge, I thought I would share my goals for the year ahead!  It’s exciting to me to map out my plan of action (I’m a big ‘ole geek about planning) and based on what’s worked in the past, I think I have a solid plan of action for next year!  Plus, if I put it down on paper I’m more liable to hold myself accountable.

My dreams for 2017 include:

Objective #1: Book 30 sessions.
I don’t know if I can handle any more than that, quite honestly.  As a Michigander and held to the mercy of our tempestuous weather, my busy season is from May until October – that’s just 6 months of shooting time.  So 30 sessions for a girl with a family, a full-time job and a part-time passion is a lot.  But I know I can do it!

Objective #2: Do a destination wedding.
Um, this makes me nervous to type out.  I’ve harbored this dream for awhile, but didn’t think it was realistic.  Well folks, if I don’t put it out there the universe might never respond.  So here it is.  I want to travel and document someone’s epic love story.  Whether in the continental US or abroad (even better) I’m officially putting it out there.  If you know of a worthy couple looking to elope, send them my way and I’ll make a sweet deal for them!

Objective #3: Attend a workshop in 2017.
I’m still figuring out what type of workshop I want to attend or invest in.  I’m leaning towards a wedding themed one.

Objective #4: Blog once a week. 
I’m not a writer.  That’s 52 blog posts in one year.  Yikess, this one will be a stretch for me.

Objective #5: Increase my social media presence and audience.
I love Instagram, so my goal is to get 1000 followers by end of next year!

Objective #6: Get published!
It would be awesome to see my work get published again!  And now that I’ve got one under my belt, I feel confident in doing another one.

Objective #7: Go film.
I would love to offer my clients a hybrid experience of both film and digital for 2017 sessions.

Objective #8:  Give back.
I’m ashamed to say that in the 5 years I’ve been doing this professionally, this has never once been on my list of goals and objectives.  Wtf, Breanna.  I’m not sure if it’s because I’m a little bit older now, or because I’m a mom, but I want to give back to this world – to put a little good into it so that it makes a better place for my baby.  I don’t know, I can’t explain it, but it’s on my radar.  I don’t know quite yet what that means for me or how I can achieve this, but it’s something that I’ve given to God and asked for the opportunity to show itself to me.  What are my talents and gifts if not shared and used for His glory?

Well, this girl has dreams and I’m excited to see what the feature holds.  As 2016 closes, I’m incredibly grateful for the wonderful clients I met and served.  It has been a privilege and honor to capture your family’s precious memories – and here’s to 2017!!!!

As part of the #bloomIGchallenge, I thought I would share my goals and the lessons I’ve learned in 2016. Overall, it was definitely my biggest year in terms of volume and I feel proud of what I accomplished, but at the same time I feel like I was running in all directions.  Ever feel like that?  Like things are moving so fast, but you’re not sure where your headed?  Yep, me too.

I’m a pretty business-minded person (hey, it was my major in both undergraduate and graduate school!), so I did map out a plan prior to 2016 – it was just sticking to that plan that was the challenge.

My 2016 goals were pretty simple, so let’s see how I did:

Objective #1: Offer a summer mini-session
I did offer a mini-session in late summer at the beach.  Honestly, I don’t know how photographers do this and turn a profit.  It was a lot of work and I’m not sure if I’ll ever do them again.

Objective #2: Book 12 family sessions, 6 senior sessions, and 3 weddings
Yep, I nailed this one.  A total of 28 sessions for last year – exceeding all my expectations.

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Objective #3: Redo my branding and website
In March I launched my new website and branding with the help from a designer.  Best thing I ever did because I believe it helped me attract the clientele I wanted to work with.

Objective #4: Attend a workshop in 2016
Hands down, one of my favorite things from 2016 was attending the family workshop from Sarah-Beth Photography in Indy.  She is the rock-star of family photography and I feel so lucky that I was able to attend.  Normally, I’m not a fan of workshops.  I’ve attended quite a few and I’m always slightly disappointed…I feel like the information shared is common knowledge…or I get annoyed at the vast amounts of attendees which makes it almost impossible to get good quality shots at the styled portion of the workshop because everyone is jockeying for the best position.  I’m not an aggressive person, but you have to be if you want any good pictures (elbows out!).  However, at Sarah’s workshop it was very intimate with only 5 attendees and everyone got their fair share of photo time and Q&A.  It was awesome.  Her information was invaluable and it changed my workflow and creative outcome.  I’m so thankful for her.

Objective #5: Expand my maternity portfolio
Yep, I shot 3 maternity sessions to expand my portfolio.  I really want to continue to pursue this because motherhood is something so close to my heart.

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Objective #6: Increase my social media presence and audience
This is something that I still struggle with – I love social media, but I don’t necessarily like contributing to it.  Not every client wants sneak-peeks or their images shared online, so if I don’t have creative assets to share, I’m not necessarily comfortable with sharing personal information – I’m a pretty private person.  I post maybe once a week.  So, while I may not have thousands of Instagram followers or Facebook fans, I did increase my reach by about 30%, which is A-OK in my book.

Objective #7: Get published
Wahoo!  I did it!  I collaborated with some amazing vendors for a Lavender themed shoot and it was amazing!  It got published with Wedding Day Magazine in July and I think it was one of my best accomplishments of 2016.

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As an artist, I know I still have a long way to go to get to where I want, but I also feel like I’ve also come a long way too.  So many growing pains with this little business of mine, but so much reward too.  Next week, I’ll share my goals and dreams for 2017!