November 7, 2011

A Little Bit More

“If you want to sum up what lifts most successful people above the crowd, I could do it in four little words….a little bit more.”- John Maxwell

A little over a week ago, I fretted over my shoe choice and tried on exactly four different combinations of jewelry. We were on our way to a shoot we were partnering on with Beth Chapman of The White Dress by the Shore and designer Coren Moore…. and when you know you’re going to be around the ever-fashionable, ever-fabulous ladies of the White Dress, you know you better bring your A-game. Y’know, accessory speaking.

But this isn’t really a post about my jewelry.

We have been lucky enough to work with Beth on several styled shoots before. She has been super generous in loaning us the dresses for several of the Walk Throughs as well as 2.0, and we also got to work side by side with her on the first Style Me Pretty “inspiration to reality” shoot that you might remember HERE. So we were crazy excited to work with her again.

But this isn’t really a post about styled shoots either.

See this shoot was different than anything we’ve ever really worked on before. For the concept to really work, everything needed to be shot full length on the same background with very little variation from us. We were also all working under some pretty tight time constraints, as everything needed to be shot, edited and turned around quickly for the upcoming trunk show. To give you an idea, we needed to get through all four looks, (including hair, makeup and style changes) as well as all the shooting in under an hour. So needless to say, there was a whole team of us working together to make that happen. It was a lot like a wedding in that respect. And that got me thinking.

Which is what this post is really about.

See, I know what it’s like to be at a wedding and have the timeline be so tight that you don’t feel like you have a second to do anything above what’s been asked of you, to do anything but just get the shots that are required. Or to be so buried and backed up in work that it feels like you just constantly have your head down digging yourself out, instead of being the one looking up, dreaming and pushing your business forward. And it becomes very overwhelming. Because we imagine that the shots we really want to get or the dreaming we really want to do will take so much more time than we’ll ever have. That we already have way too much on our plates to ever do more. So we throw our hands up and think, what’s the point??

But if there is one thing I’ve learned from Beth and incredibly successful people like her everywhere it’s this: Success is won and lost in the little things. In doing just…a little bit more. It’s doing a little bit more than what’s expected of you. Doing a little bit more than what’s required. It’s asking for a few more minutes to get the shot. Carving out just fifteen minutes a day to dream bigger. Leaving just that little bit of extra time to be unexpected. To be remarkable. See, Beth has built one of the powerful brands I’ve ever witnessed, and I believe she’s done it by waking up every single day and asking how she could do just a little bit more than she did the day before. And I think being around that kind of thinking is contagious. And… it’s inspiring.

Because at the end of the shoot, Justin asked for just two more minutes to try a shot that he had in mind. Literally just two minutes, and it ended up being some of his favorite portraits he’s ever taken.

So if you’re feeling overwhelmed right now, thinking that you’ll never find the time to get to where you really want to be, that it’s never going to happen for you….. remember that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. And it rarely happens overnight.

And maybe all you need moving forward, is just a whole lot….of a little bit more.

And a HUGE congrats to the winner of our The J&M Ten Shoot Sac cover winner: Miss Carissa Uribe!! Shoot us an email Carissa & we’ll get you all hooked up!

  1. Abby Grace

    Oh wow, those last two really are stunning.

  2. Susan Evans

    This was great inspiration that I needed to hear today, Mary – thank you! I recently shot a wedding reception (Morman wedding so I only photographed the reception). Nobody was there or ready on time (as in, drastically late!) and I got so frustrated that all my creativity went right out the window! When I got home I thought of several shots I could have set up and was angry at myself for not being more creative. I was ready to relegate photography to the "hobby only" category, but I know I just need to work at it a little bit harder.

  3. Carissa

    I don’t get it. How do you always post these ridiculously inspirational posts right when I need to hear them? Thank you so much for this. Oh, and not to mention thank you for the SHOOT SAC COVER!!!! Baaaah!!! So stoked! This is the greatest Monday. Evah. You guys are the best :)

  4. Jessica Frey

    Just what I needed today…inspiration to keep my head above water and enjoy the ride! As wedding season nears, it’s finding a balance between being a successful busy wedding photographer, great wife, good friend – and keeping clients happy and trying my best to go above and beyond expectations. That little reminder today is helpful, thanks! Love you guys!

  5. Sarah B

    Thank you so much for this post – SO inspiring! I know what I’m going to make sure I do today :)

  6. rich

    so classy so beautiful!

    thank you for the encouraging / inspirational post! you always put things like this up at the perfect time! =)

  7. Jessie Emeric

    And yet again, you manage to say what I need to hear at the right time! Thanks :) xoxo

  8. corey

    Love this, way too much very cosmo.. I can dig it!

  9. Christa Hann

    I can’t decide what I love most? The post itself or the images?!? Love it all :)

  10. Stephanie Stewart

    LOVE LOVE LOVE those last two! Totally gorge!
    p.s. when I read this post, I felt like you were talking just to me. Thank you for the inspiration…and that little extra push.

  11. Christina Dely

    This post truly resonated with me! I recently had a wedding that was running an hour behind. Not only did I have to rush for most of the day, to get the "must haves", I didn’t have time to shoot the majority of the creative ideas I had come prepared with. During the reception, I decided to ask the bride & groom if I could steal them for just a few minutes to finally get in a few creative poses. I ALMOST didn’t ask! But as I reflect back on the images, I am so proud of these few minutes!

  12. Lydia

    LOVE! And thanks for the encouragement to push on to even great things!

  13. Katie Jordan

    Wow, I love those shots at the end. So glad he asked for the extra time!

  14. Jennie Fresa

    inspiring post, MM! loved being on this project and watching everyone do what they do… and do it well! really love these last few pics of jill!

  15. athena

    yes. more yes. and then a heaping dose of hallefreakinlujah on top. a little. bit. more.

    so true.

    and every single battle each of us will ever face in our lives, big or small, will be one or lost in the details.

    little things matter so much more than most care to realize.

    kindness is a little thing, and it goes a long way and isn’t present nearly as much as it should be. nor is gratitude. so thank you j+m. y’all rock.

  16. Amanda Driver

    Beautiful words…so inspiring. Thank you!

  17. Jackie Lamas

    this is exactly what I needed to hear :). Thank you M&J for keeping me so inspired and up to give a little bit more. I’m passing this on to those who need your excellent advice!

  18. Beth chapman

    J&M, thank you! Thank you for your kind words, thank you for loaning us your never ending talent, thank you for agreeing to humor me and my ridiculous request for turning the shoot around in 2 days, thank you for exceeding my expectations and turning it around in less than 12 hours, thank you for continued inspiration and thoughtful posts and most of all….thank you for helping me to remember why I love what I do! Xo

  19. lisa cour

    "It doesn’t have to be all or nothing". Really? Cause most days I think it does and that is so GREAT to be reminded that it does have to be, that it rarely is.

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