my next round of Ask Andi is ready and rarin’ to go! i am starting to love love this series. this is so fun! i got so many questions, so i was able to answer some…but not all. read to the end and i will let you know the *winner* of my favorite question.
- what is your outfit/make-up/shoe game like when you shoot weddings? (Do you bother with eye make up or keep things simple and comfortable and chic?) (Fergie Medar)
I try to wear things that I will be comfortable in of course! I do wear a lot of black, but just because I like it….not because I think I have to. I wear a lot of bodysuit/skirt options, as well as dresses for summer weddings. I love being able to have pockets on the day….i feel like its so helpful! For shoes! I shoot very long full day coverage, so my feet are gonna hurt regardless. BUT I always pack several pairs, for me….putting on something fresh in the reception (and sometimes even changing my outfit!) feels really good to me. if I am EVER going to be in a spot where its cold or could be wet, I over-pack like a freak. I hate to be shooting out cold and wet (although I love those images) …I want to make sure I am comfortable shooting in any element, bc if I am not….I’m not going to shoot as well or focused im im thinking about my wet feet! Hunter Boots all the way!!! as far as makeup goes….I just do my daily routine! I think its important to look very put together, have my hair done and feel professional….I’ve always been one to OVER dress, so I’d rather feel to done up….than looking like I rolled out of bed. I do love red lipstick on the day….it helps you feel bomb even 9 hours in….Ruby Woo, Russian Red by Mac are my favs.
- If you were granted an all expense paid one month vacation to travel wherever you desired, describe the places you’d visit, what you’d do, etc.
I love this one! I’ve been a lot of amazing places…but not too many yet with CJ….I have been DYYYYING for ages to go to Greece. and it just hasn’t happened yet, however, we are planning on taking a separate honeymoon later in the year after we’re married (we’ll already be in a destination, so we’re just gonna relax there) but our real honeymoon is going to be GREECE! I literally cannot wait. I just love all the white and teal and being in those romantic little towns on a cliff. sign me up.
- Where the heck did you get that amazing gold outfit from your engagement roller party??!
That was my most favorite party I’ve planned to date! omg. All Gold Everything, best party ever. i searched and tried 75 outfits for that party. i finally settled on a gold one piece from Amazon actually. Amazon has SO many things online, i get so much on Amazon Prime. anyhow….that’s where it was from. I wanted to be comfortable, make a statement but no sweat to death in a spandex outfit one piece, so this one had holes in it, and then i ended up cutting off the sleeves as we were walking out the door to make it more breezy. also! my tutu and cape and CJ’s grill were also from Amazon. did you see our YouTube i made of the party…basically im obsessed with my GoPro and making videos right now.
- What does success mean to you?
Success to me. wow. this is something I am thinking about a lot right now. and I will probably write a post separately about this. but success goes way beyond my business. right now, and for a while, I have sacrificed many things personally and socially to grow my business and that can play out pretty poorly for me bc of those sacrifices. mainly with family and close friends who don’t feel my presence or availability bc of what I do and the pressure I have on myself to not let my business or clients down. SO. success means: shooting work that inspires and moves me, being true to that. making people genuinely so happy when they work with me and having the BEST experience all the way thru. being present in my personal relationships, not feeling that I have so much work that it over-takes my attention….being present enough to not forget events and birthdays, taking the time to craft a present instead of buying one, making a great meal for CJ and I, more phone calls and communication with those I love. taking time for myself, remaining healthy….taking care of my body and allowing myself time outside of work to do yoga, work out, go grocery shopping so I can make meals that are feeding my body and keeping me feeling wonderful. keeping CJ always at my #1 and allowing myself to pull away from work in the evenings….to be present with him. to be able to provide for myself and CJ equally. to achieve what I want! keep speaking internationally/domestic and KILLING it with my Oh Sh!t Workshops…..really inspiring people to create a life and business that they are proud of and being a part of that path to achieve it. THAT IS MY SUCCESS.
- What do you mean when you say you’re planning weddings?!?
well, because of some family restrictions on travel….we were not able to make our ONE wedding in our ideal location, so after some sadness and feeling like we’d just have to give up our dream…..we decided to go the non-traditional route and plan TWO weddings. omg. One for family and one for friends. They are going to be very different from each other and I’m excited to eventually share more once we have it all planned…but for now, that’s what I’ll say! It’s gonna be a ton of work….but we are SO pumped about elements from each one and also so excited it all wont be done in one swoop! long live two weddings!
- I want to get married soon and I’ve never had a boyfriend. God’s definitely teaching me waiting and there are definitely nights of a deep ache– the one that really shakes you to the core. Through your journey of singleness, waiting, dating, and now of engagement, what is one thing you wish you could have known/told yourself at the beginning of the time you started your relationship with CJ?
This is a great thought. for some time, I really really didn’t even want guys to notice or pursue me, I wanted to just work on my business and enjoy the freedom to do what I wanted with my time. and there was another season while single, that I really longed for the one I was going to be with forever. not necessarily that longing to date, but to be in that secure, knowing spot….that only comes in time and the security of years together. looking back, God brought CJ into my life at really the most wonderful time. my business was secure and I felt like I was at such a strong point in my faith, that I honestly didn’t FEEL like I needed a man…I was so happy where I was, of course my heart longed for that companionship…..but I was SO happy with myself and my business. I actually met CJ a month after I wrote this really forward “open letter to dating” where I just blasted out my thoughts on men being with a woman who knew what she wanted. I was over men being unsure, not forward, not seeking the pursuit. so I would say to you know, to trust the Lord that He knows where you’re at, your heart and your deepest desires. I hadn’t dated a lot, but I had had 2 relationships prior to CJ and one, I was REALLY heartbroken after, and…while, I still think he is an amazing guy….The Lord really knew what my heart desired and CJ fulfills so many things in me I never thought would happen. so trust the Lord and be where you are. there are things I did to prepare myself for my husband, to show him my love, even tho we didn’t even know each other! and I know, now, those things are very special to CJ. you can still invest your thoughts and love for someone you don’t know….you can be connected to them. write to them. but trust where you are and creating the WOMAN you want to attract the husband that you want.
- This is hardly an ask Andi. It’s a super boring question, but how do you price photographing elopements?
I recently started offering a handful of packages for elopements. all the way from 1.5 hours up to 6. elopements and weddings really have every structure and I think if you only offer 1-2 things, you could be selling yourself short. yes, some want just quick coverage, but some want more overall and I want to offer that! as far as pricing it out, that just depends on where you’re at. if its 1.5 hours, what is your time worth? if its 5 hours, what is your time worth? I cant tell people how to do that. experiment, see what works. I love love shooting elopements, so I always want to give options to those brides, so they can choose what perfectly fits their needs.
- How do you handle shoots where you know in your gut you just didn’t crush it? Pray they love it? Offer a reshoot? Drink wine until it doesn’t bother you anymore?
This doesn’t really happen to me. I think that comes with experience and also taking time to book the right clients. the only times I’m less happy with my work is if the connection isn’t there….and even in those situations, I can still create work I’m happy with and the quality is on par with what my clients expect….the difference when I’m matched up well with clients is the experience on the shoot. I shoot selfish, I want my experience to be fun and lively, good convo and an aspect of adventure. when my experience is fun, and I can be totally me…then my clients experience is going to be the best. that’s what they’re hiring me for. and its those situations, when I am having a blast shooting, I feel free, able to try things, like I can be weird and fun….when that happens naturally….thats when I create my best work, so that’s why is SO important that I work with the right people, because really, its for them, in order to give them the best photos and experience, I have to gel well. its that simple. I know I can shoot anyone, and I am confident in the quality of imagery they will get….but that’s not my goal and that’s not success to me. I WANT to have fun, enjoy the work I create. when m happy, my clients will be overjoyed with the experience.
- If you could only travel the world, but never take photos of your travels OR only photograph, but never travel, for the rest of your life…which would you choose. i hope this never happens..but. pick one.
This is seriously a hard question. my heart wants both, ha, I’m glad I am only hypothetically answering this. I definitely plan on traveling with my family and kids and incorporate that into my lifestyle…but if I had to choose. I think it would be a greater loss to never photograph again, but be able to travel. Something I am most looking forward to is a family, a home….and if I were never able to photograph my own kids, or moments that I would want to hold onto forever…that would be so terrible for me. I think I’ll always need to create…..so that’s my pick!
- where do you see yourself in 5 years? Personal and business.
- a very lovely question. BUSINESS. I see myself working less. but better. taking on badass couples who are looking for a certain experience and crave those moments and art being made. I see Oh Sh!t growing, me and Gaylin taking OS all over the country, growing it with sick sponsors and airing up with amazing brands. going international. being so inspired by women and making a good thing. PERSONAL. 5 years, CJ and I will be married, for 4 years, hopefully living in Queen Anne in our first home. taking on little projects and making it amazing. we’ll have at least one baby, maybe a 2 year old running around the house. who knows, maybe I’ll be pregnant again. next 5 years, I am so excited for.
- what is the best way you and your man connect/most important thing in your relationship?
I would say just always being in communication. there are bigger things that have been very special for us and our relationship (usually centered around travel) where we learn so much about each other, and get to just relax together…a lot of amazing moments of growth in our relationship have been on trips. I first knew I loved him on this couples trip we took to NYC two Octobers ago, I just feel like you get to have that condensed time together with no distractions and can really move you forward in a wonderful way. So that is on one end….but a more daily and common thing, I think….is just that communication about even the mundane things. CJ is amazing at always making me feel like he wants to chat and say hi. he always calls. every time we talk he is always so excited to talk to me, even if its for 5 minutes. and that feels so refreshing to me, just caring about the other persons morning and day and using that time to connect feels so good to me. its really so simple but if you don’t have that feeling in the mundane every day things….well, for me, that’s how I have continued to feel special, wanted and thought of, just in those little daily communications.
- What is your most cherished picture that you or someone else has taken of you and why?
I honestly don’t thing I have a MOST cherished photo that’s been professionally taken. I have some I really really love by Phil Chester of CJ and I when we were in our first year of dating…that’s definitely my most favorite memory of a shoot, how I felt and the result of the images…..but I would have to say, just a compilation of normal candid family photos, a photo with my great grandma when she was about 103 yrs old. just normal photos…..those everyday kind. I think once we get married, this answer will completely change!!!
I get asked this a lot!! so I made a little YouTube of my answer and the lashes I use, etc. haha. // also! this is the day i got engaged, the day i made this video. how funny. after this, i got ready…left for my night with CJ and whammo, got engaged. on our 3 year anni. i wrote every little detail of that story on a blog here.
- What is your favorite childhood candy?
Dude. I ate SO much candy. I stick mostly to good chocolate noow (obsessed with stone ground chocolate, try it!) but as a kid, I was a candy freak. I seriously ate so much bad food and sweets. I remember loving Chick-o-sticks! haha. so random. its like the inside of a butterfinger! love those too. but really im not a “bar” person….i love little things I can snack on and have bits of, not necessarily things that you have to eat ALL at once. omg KitKat’s….those are the winner. duh. I had the weirdest process of peeling them apart, licking every wafer…so so gross to watch I would imagine.
- If you were to be represent in fruit form, which of these would it be and why? Watermelon, Banana or Apple? (and you have to put some real thought into this, not just “because I love the fruit!)
I would be an apple. They are known to be good & healthy, yet an appropriate amount of sweet. there are so many varieties, you can have so many different experiences with them, depending on what type of mood you’re in. but they are also known to bring on more hunger once you consume it. // in the same way, i am good and healthy…..but will win you over with approachability and a good amount of sweet yet tangy and fun. and then i always leave you wanting more interaction, time together…..this question is setting me up to sound conceited. haha.
- what if it rains? I live in Norway´s very rainy city ( its not so bad, but the rumour is bad) and every bride, and almost every other client asks, WHAT DO WE DO IF IT RAINS? And, it can rain ANY day of the year, even if it is in the middle of July. So, what do you say to relax worry-wart brides, and get them to take risks, and yet be smart at the same time? I say that we can always find some kind of overhang or something if it is really terrible weather, or a borrow a cute cabin if its a real storm, but its not always so easy to say something so little and ease their worry. I know that it will go ok, its just a question I get all the time!
I am not a worrier. and I LOVE that grey light. so I embrace the rain and grey and encourage my brides that OMG this is my favorite light – we generally just have to be more flexible in our timeline and thoughts about the day. if its raining, we can adjust times and then hop out when it stops or something. I love finding overhangs and garages, so that is something I have done repeatedly on rainy wedding days. but I also feel like getting someone next to a window, in a venue or hotel is amazing light. for example, a couple of months ago, for my 2 day Indian wedding it was POURING during our couples and family photo time. this is a wedding that costs a lot of money for the couple and they’ve invested so much, this is not just a wedding where I feel like I can run off with the couple – so many people, so much going on….luckily there was an amazing garage (I mean, massive!) that we rolled the door up on and I shot the family photos, couples photos, first look and all bridal party there. it was gorgeous bright light on them, with great fall off black void behind them. I wasn’t about to waste the little time I had to take them in the rain or get new spots for each section of shooting, I would rather have amazing light and be stress free, than worry about having the similar setup for those photos. I can move them, move myself, shoot in new ways….and I felt great about the result. you just need to be creative and give you clients the confidence that you can roll with the punches.
- Favorite mascara, lipstick, and panty? A woman’s three essentials
Mascara! I have been using a Maybelline “Colossal Volume Express” in a yellow tube forever. come to think of it…its probably terrible! I should search out a better natural mascara (tips welcome!) Lipstick! well, I do love wearing red, however, CJ is not into it…so for my daily lip..its a nude color from Makeup Forever, just a liner that goes on matte and stay literally all day (color 1C I believe!) and panty…ha, well I love lace and anything that it’s a perfect fit. not any brand necessarily, but lace is the best fit and most comfortable.
MY FAVORITE QUESTION!!! Goes to Hannah F, who asked What Success Means to Me….as well as the question about wanting to get married and being patient during your time of being single. YAY hannah, you have one of my home-made cocoa butter chapsticks comin to ya girl!!
Thank you to all who participated in this series of Ask Andi!!!!