March 6, 2014

WPPI Giveaway: Tonic Site Shop!!

The ahhhh-mazing folks at Tonic (the geniuses behind The Black Tie Bride & Well Groomed Groom brands!) were so incredibly generous to give us a site up to $850 value to giveaway at WPPI! But we didn’t want all of you guys at home to miss out, so we decided to run it here too! Our talk at WPPI was all about starting your “Why,” and then letting every other area of your business be driven by that purpose & how powerful a change that can bring about in both your own growth and your impact in the world!

So here’s the deal! Leave us a comment letting us know your own Why & how you are going to let that guide at least one new area of your business and we are going to pick one lucky winner from that & our entries at WPPI to win an $850 Tonic Site!! We’ll announce the winner early next week. Annnnnd…GO!!

  1. Amber

    My "Why" is because photos speak of our legacy, that which we pass down to our loved ones. I strive to create photos that are seen as gifts to be treasured from one generation to the next.

  2. Anna

    Why? To capture the incredible beauty on this earth, mostly in terms of people’s emotions and interactions whether just day to day or on their wedding day.
    How? Take pictures of the little things in context of the bigger things. Not always just taking a picture of one thing but tell a story in each picture. Capture the moments that others are too busy to see. Thus I will slow myself down and look at a scene first before I take the picture.

  3. Britney Tarno

    Wow wow! What a cool giveaway, y’all!
    Since before I can remember all I wanted to do in this life is make people happy. I didn’t know what that entailed or how I was going to do that and make a living. I was in college and needed an internship so I got a job with a wedding photographer in Dallas. It was the best/worst experience of my life. First it was the best because I started to see all of these things I loved happening at the same time. I loved big moments, pretty things, high emotion and a fast paced day. I loved being a part of each of the moments throughout the day and getting to capture those moments so the bride could remember and relive them as well as I can to this day. A wedding day is fleeting and it is my greatest joy to give our clients the ability to go back and be in each of those moments whenever they want. It was the worst because the photographer I worked for was solely driven by the paycheck. It didn’t matter to her how anyone felt, if they loved her, or even if they felt comfortable in her presence. After that summer I knew my "why" My business is driven by my passion to make people happy and make their whole wedding experience easy and special. There is no greater joy than to offer a helping hand from day one of our relationship and make certain that they feel like they’re our only client whether it be our 10th or 100th wedding.

  4. Joy Phillips

    My "Why" is because I want to surround people with beauty. I find that rest, comfort, and inspiration come from taking in beauty. I want to provide that for people.

  5. Kristen

    When I first started my business last year I really wanted to focus on women’s portraits and weddings. So I happily announced that I shoot, "Weddings & Portraits." Well, in my head portraits = women’s portraiture… to the rest of the world it meant, "family portraits." So my first year of businesses I ended up going down a rabbit trail. This year I’m trying to get back on track and I now offer, "Weddings & Beauty Sessions!"

    I love working with women and I love to show them how beautiful they truly are. I feel strongly about empowering women and so I’m going to war against society’s definition of "beauty." Beauty isn’t starving yourself, having tons of plastic surgery, etc. Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, ages, and comes from within.

    My favorite women to work with are those that some other photographers might dread. The women who have never been in front of a camera before, that don’t know how to pose, that are a little shy, etc. I love working with these women because the most rewarding thing in the world is to have these women with self doubts and insecurities peek at the back of my camera during a shoot, and see their faces light up. This process restores their confidence and self worth and recalibrates their definition of beauty. I love being able to give this gift to them.

    So I want this to drive my business. I want women to regain their confidence, feel pampered, and be magnificent. I want every aspect of my business to reflect this. I want to be warm, inviting, friendly, and upscale. Doing something like this for themselves is a big deal, and I want every step of the process to be amazing for them. This is why I’m reinventing the wheel, so to speak. I’m starting over from square one as I change from being a (family) portrait photographer, to a women’s portrait photographer offering beauty sessions!

  6. Melisa Draper

    My "why" has changed over the last few years…. I lost my Dad last year, it made me realize how important documenting life is. My Why is making sure all my clients have photo documents of life!!! They are so important and for me I go back and look at the last family photos we had taken with my dad all the time!

  7. Nicole Henry

    My WHY is my son. I was working a corporate job for a few years and there was so much politics involved I knew that is not where I wanted to be. My husband and I had our son a year and a half after being married. My husband wanted me to stay at home with my son. I had a DSLR before then but was never serious about photography. After having my son it ignited a passion for photography that dwindled here and there before. I have dabbled in all different types of photography, but I am at my happiest when photographing maternity and newborn sessions. I would love to win this giveaway because this would help me to draw more distinct lines with my business and focus on the genres of photography that I have fallen in love with so much. Thank you so much for this amazing opportunity and I hope that this will bless someone immensely.

  8. Nicole Henry

    My WHY is my son. I was working a corporate job for a few years and there was so much politics involved I knew that is not where I wanted to be. My husband and I had our son a year and a half after being married. My husband wanted me to stay at home with my son. I had a DSLR before then but was never serious about photography. After having my son it ignited a passion for photography that dwindled here and there before. I have dabbled in all different types of photography, but I am at my happiest when photographing maternity and newborn sessions. I would love to win this giveaway because this would help me to draw more distinct lines with my business and focus on the genres of photography that I have fallen in love with so much. Thank you so much for this amazing opportunity and I hope that this will bless someone immensely.

  9. Meghan Spencer

    My why is me. I had a realization the last couple of days that being a photographer, and a wedding photographer specifically, is so tied to my identity, that I don’t know who I am without it. I’ve been having some major problems in booking and feeling very defeated. So down that I even considered giving up, until I realized that I can’t. I really can’t because without this, I have and am nothing. I love the art of it, being there for the clients I do have, and giving them a great experience AND great photos. All of that is the process and I love it so dearly. Thank you for this opportunity to better my brand, my image, and my first touch for potential brides. You are both wonderful.

  10. Tammy Eppens

    Because miracles start with "why."

  11. Morgan

    My why is because I want to travel the world meeting amazing people. I LOVE love and I LOVE people, so meeting people in love in beautiful places truly is my dream job. I’m getting married and rebranding this year and I need this to make my reach to couples worldwide.

  12. Sara Graham

    Why? Everyone has a story. We love capturing that story and want everyone else to know it. It will long out live the wedding day, kids, and probably both the husband and wife. Making the story REAL and CLASSIC is what we are all about. Sometimes that’s laughter and sometimes that’s tears, but we want every image we release to share in that story. We are culling more and releasing only those that live up to our why.

  13. Heather Mobley

    My why… Life is fleeting and along the way there are incredible moments which deserve to be preserved… Moments of incredible anguish and unspeakable joy come and go at an alarming speed… I believe in documenting as many of these precious gifts as accurately as possible, so that one day when an old photo is glanced upon, each emotion felt, each reason for wanting the picture taken, and each tucked away memory from that second will come flooding back to the viewer. Our time is short and at the end of the day, the moments are what make this crazy life worth living and documenting.

  14. Heather Mobley

    My why… Life is fleeting and along the way there are incredible moments which deserve to be preserved… Moments of incredible anguish and unspeakable joy come and go at an alarming speed… I believe in documenting as many of these precious gifts as accurately as possible, so that one day when an old photo is glanced upon, each emotion felt, each reason for wanting the picture taken, and each tucked away memory from that second will come flooding back to the viewer. Our time is short and at the end of the day, the moments are what make this crazy life worth living and documenting.

  15. Anna ruggirello

    My why is to make meaningful connections with people. By making a mutual connection with how it feels to be in love, and celebrating it together. Documenting these moments gives me a sense of pride in what I do. It makes me happy to do something that brings any small amount of joy to someone. But it works the other way, as well. By giving me the opportunity to be a part of something so special to them, people are giving me joy in return. I am able to learn from what they share with me, and hopefully pass it on.

    I spend so much time in my business worrying about the technical things, and I’ve realized over this week at WPPI that all I’ve been doing is putting limitations on myself. Holding myself back because of my own insecurities. It’s all of those "but, I" statements that you talked about In Your class.
    "But I don’t have good enough gear."
    "But I’m too young"
    "But I’m too broke"

    By keeping my "why" in mind, these self proclaimed limitations seem to fade away. It doesn’t take money or gear to make a connection with someone. If I focus less on the technical quality on my images and more on the people inside of them, I think my business(and really just myself, in general) will benefit.

  16. Megan Decker

    My why or my core: Celebrating graciousness, love and friendships in women’s lives. This year, I’m offering a new session called, "Love Parties" with the sole purpose to pour out love for a woman who has made such an impact in your life. And documenting that joy and happiness for her to cherish forever. I also want to extend it further and do "Love Party Workshops" at churches and maybe schools… for the teens and women there. Many more women will be able to participate. It will be filled with activities that show kindness, gratitude, grace and happiness toward ourselves and others. Ah.. this is the first time I talked about that big workshop idea out loud.. in public! Phew! Can’t let fear stop me from going for it!

  17. Jessica Kill

    My why is…making pretty happen! Of course I love playing with beautiful flowers, dreamy design installations & all of the gorgeous details, but being able to leave the bride with a huge smile on her face is the best & most rewarding thing I can do to "make pretty happen"!!

    With a Tonic Site, I will be able to share my passion of celebrating love in a more cohesive and aesthetically pleasing way. What a wonderful opportunity!!!

  18. Rachel Wells

    My ‘why’ evolves constantly. I want to authentically document moments in life while telling a story. I want to create photos in which people see themselves as they are: beautiful. Another equally important aspect of my ‘why’ is to create relationships with people. I love meeting new people and learning their unique story. I just started about a year and half ago, and I’ve been reluctant to really put myself out there. I am going to use my ‘why’ as motivation this year!

  19. Kayla Adair

    I have been given an amazing gift that I want to use to serve other well all to bring Him the honor and glory. :)

  20. Dana Halvorson

    For me, the why has changed.
    At first, I thought I was giving my clients a valuable, tangible way to remember the past. They would have photos to look back on and see how young and vibrant they once were, to remember the times in their lives and to have the ability to pass on to future generations. It was all about remembering life’s stages. Now, granted, that’s important and even awesome, but wasn’t long at all into my career that I realized, that there was something BIGGER than that. When images of us and our loved ones are hung in large format, on the wall, in our bedrooms, and hallways, and even the public spaces in our homes, and they adorn the walls as beautiful art pieces, they have an incredible effect on us. My clients tell me that the images have the power to give them a conscious grateful feeling EVERY DAY. I can totally relate! I have a 24×36 canvas of my family hanging in the casual dining area of my home and 3 11x14s side by side of my husband and I and ALL of them add to the appreciation I feel for my family. They "check" me if you will. They remind me that in the midst of the chaos and the struggles that we face in this not-so-easy world, we have something to be proud of, and to something to smile for. We are blessed, and it’s right there on the wall to remind me. <3 THAT has become my WHY. Giving clients a reminder to love their lives.

  21. Frances R

    My why? is that I LOVE to document life for others and myself. Loosing my father at the age of 12 and only have a couple (2) pictures of us together is sad. I don’t ever want anyone else to go through life without those special memories of their loved ones.

  22. Jay

    My why is my wife! My soul mate, my lovely bride. She’s at home everyday working hard taking care of our kids and our business. It’s a tough job and our goal is for us both to one day be at home running our business. In the mean time I work full time selling cars. Part of my job is that I am surrounded by negativity every single day and unfortunately I bring that home with me most of the time. With all the negativity in my life it has changed me over the years, a change that I do not like! I know deep down I have a lot of love to give. My wife deserves nothing but the best of me, but sometimes it seems tough to give it to her since I am surrounded by negativity. One day that will change though. We are working hard every single day to become a better couple and better photographers. I know deep down that I have a lot to share with the world, but most of all I want to share the love I have for my amazing wife!

  23. Rebekah

    I did not hear your WPPI talk but have followed you for years. Our hosting company deleted our site recently (by mistake) and so we have been reevaluating our why for our new site which,at the moment, is a basic squarespace that I have been trying frantically to put together on my own. My husband and I are wedding photographers. Still have not not refined it all the way but here it is. Our why: Serve with humility. We believe that our photography, our “art”, is given and inspired by something bigger than us. We feel this with a great sense of gratitude and responsibility. We believe that it is a great honor to be asked to witness one of the most sacred moments in our clients lives and we strive to create images that reflect them in that moment. We believe that any financial success comes with the responsibility of doing good in whatever way that we can. We believe that money is a tool and we work to make our margins large enough and our lives simple enough to be able to give from generously. Finally we believe that to live in humility with other vendors in our industry is key to the health of the entire industry. Generosity and collaboration come from gratitude and humility.
    This is guiding about every decision we make personally and professionally as you can imagine and it is not always an easy path. I would love to know how much you say your why on your site or to your clients or if it just acts as a guide.

  24. Irina M

    WHY I started in photography: I have always wanted to, but I was always afraid of my own dream. A few years ago my baby boy went to be with Jesus at 21 weeks gestation. IN the process of grieving and finding my healing, I decided that I will try and follow this dream, and do what I love that truly fulfills my heart. That’s how I started, and my heavenly baby boy is the one who inspired it.
    WHY I still do it, even when I feel like giving up sometimes: I love to inspire the new dream in the couple getting married, and to be in their lives for that special time when I can encourage their love and their marriage in its very beginning. I also want to to truly and fearlessly live in the moment, and let me worry about capturing it.
    The WHY behind my business: as a mom to soon four beautiful boys, I take full responsibility for their wellbeing, to care for them, love on them, and provide for them. I don’t want to to see the pile of student loan debt I was naive enough to gather, and I want them to have a future. I also want them to see that it’s possible to be your own entrepreneur and work and play hard, and be happy with your choices; that it takes hard work to build a dream, but the reward is that much sweeter.
    My WHY legacy: I want out of the blessings I receive to be able to bless others. For this reason, we have volunteered this past year for a children’s home charity, and will do it again. The big WHY is my heart that goes out to children with broken homes, and the children that go hungry, or families that need a helping hand. Because I’ve been there, and I know how it feels to have nothing. And because I was lucky enough to be loved by my parents, but I see so many that have not known that love. Years ago I have helped raise funds for a homeless children’s ministry in Ukraine, my home country. Every day I am still moved by the same compassion and desire to help change lives.

  25. Irina M

    WHY I started in photography: I have always wanted to, but I was always afraid of my own dream. A few years ago my baby boy went to be with Jesus at 21 weeks gestation. IN the process of grieving and finding my healing, I decided that I will try and follow this dream, and do what I love that truly fulfills my heart. That’s how I started, and my heavenly baby boy is the one who inspired it.
    WHY I still do it, even when I feel like giving up sometimes: I love to inspire the new dream in the couple getting married, and to be in their lives for that special time when I can encourage their love and their marriage in its very beginning. I also want to to truly and fearlessly live in the moment, and let me worry about capturing it.
    The WHY behind my business: as a mom to soon four beautiful boys, I take full responsibility for their wellbeing, to care for them, love on them, and provide for them. I don’t want to to see the pile of student loan debt I was naive enough to gather, and I want them to have a future. I also want them to see that it’s possible to be your own entrepreneur and work and play hard, and be happy with your choices; that it takes hard work to build a dream, but the reward is that much sweeter.
    My WHY legacy: I want out of the blessings I receive to be able to bless others. For this reason, we have volunteered this past year for a children’s home charity, and will do it again. The big WHY is my heart that goes out to children with broken homes, and the children that go hungry, or families that need a helping hand. Because I’ve been there, and I know how it feels to have nothing. And because I was lucky enough to be loved by my parents, but I see so many that have not known that love. Years ago I have helped raise funds for a homeless children’s ministry in Ukraine, my home country. Every day I am still moved by the same compassion and desire to help change lives.

  26. Irina M

    WHY I started in photography: I have always wanted to, but I was always afraid of my own dream. A few years ago my baby boy went to be with Jesus at 21 weeks gestation. IN the process of grieving and finding my healing, I decided that I will try and follow this dream, and do what I love that truly fulfills my heart. That’s how I started, and my heavenly baby boy is the one who inspired it.
    WHY I still do it, even when I feel like giving up sometimes: I love to inspire the new dream in the couple getting married, and to be in their lives for that special time when I can encourage their love and their marriage in its very beginning. I also want to to truly and fearlessly live in the moment, and let me worry about capturing it.
    The WHY behind my business: as a mom to soon four beautiful boys, I take full responsibility for their wellbeing, to care for them, love on them, and provide for them. I don’t want to to see the pile of student loan debt I was naive enough to gather, and I want them to have a future. I also want them to see that it’s possible to be your own entrepreneur and work and play hard, and be happy with your choices; that it takes hard work to build a dream, but the reward is that much sweeter.
    My WHY legacy: I want out of the blessings I receive to be able to bless others. For this reason, we have volunteered this past year for a children’s home charity, and will do it again. The big WHY is my heart that goes out to children with broken homes, and the children that go hungry, or families that need a helping hand. Because I’ve been there, and I know how it feels to have nothing. And because I was lucky enough to be loved by my parents, but I see so many that have not known that love. Years ago I have helped raise funds for a homeless children’s ministry in Ukraine, my home country. Every day I am still moved by the same compassion and desire to help change lives.

  27. Irina M

    WHY I started in photography: I have always wanted to, but I was always afraid of my own dream. A few years ago my baby boy went to be with Jesus at 21 weeks gestation. IN the process of grieving and finding my healing, I decided that I will try and follow this dream, and do what I love that truly fulfills my heart. That’s how I started, and my heavenly baby boy is the one who inspired it.
    WHY I still do it, even when I feel like giving up sometimes: I love to inspire the new dream in the couple getting married, and to be in their lives for that special time when I can encourage their love and their marriage in its very beginning. I also want to to truly and fearlessly live in the moment, and let me worry about capturing it.
    The WHY behind my business: as a mom to soon four beautiful boys, I take full responsibility for their wellbeing, to care for them, love on them, and provide for them. I don’t want to to see the pile of student loan debt I was naive enough to gather, and I want them to have a future. I also want them to see that it’s possible to be your own entrepreneur and work and play hard, and be happy with your choices; that it takes hard work to build a dream, but the reward is that much sweeter.
    My WHY legacy: I want out of the blessings I receive to be able to bless others. For this reason, we have volunteered this past year for a children’s home charity, and will do it again. The big WHY is my heart that goes out to children with broken homes, and the children that go hungry, or families that need a helping hand. Because I’ve been there, and I know how it feels to have nothing. And because I was lucky enough to be loved by my parents, but I see so many that have not known that love. Years ago I have helped raise funds for a homeless children’s ministry in Ukraine, my home country. Every day I am still moved by the same compassion and desire to help change lives.

  28. Irina M

    Sorry my message showed up three times… It seems like a glitch.

  29. Kricia Morris

    It took me a long time to determine my true why…my husband is in the military and I needed a job that would be flexible not only for my kids, but because we move to a new area every 3-4 years. But, as I got into it and met amazing people and learned new techniques, my why as to why I do this job showed up. It’s not a job anymore! Everywhere I go I see memories that I can make tangible for people. Every moment in life is something to be treasured and remembered and memorialized…and I can do that with my camera. My why has become my life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  30. Stephanie Rita

    My why is "Remembering the little things." And I actually figured that out at one of your lighting workshops a few years ago! The whole reason I started out taking pictures was to remember my own little things. A walk to the park, the feeling of spring coming, a trip to my favorite coffee shop. Seems silly, but someday I’ll look back at those pictures and remember how I felt in that moment. Which is the reason I take photos for other people! To help a mom remember the way her little girl kissed her cheek. Or help a groom remember giving his brother a high five before the ceremony. Things that could end up forgotten… Anyways, I’m always thinking about my why, and this year I will continue to focus on it and bring it into my photos more! Thanks for this opportunity! -S

  31. Jessy Howard

    My Why, has been and always will be Love in it’s purest form. To show, share and extend it to others through my photography. God has called me ‘to see’ (literally that’s what my name means.) He has asked me to document love that might otherwise go unseen, further more He wants me to take that love share it with the world and point it back to Him. My goal is to go to third world countries to show, share and extend love there. I want to bring those images back to help raise awareness and funds to extend physical LOVE by means of basic necessities to ultimately share His message of Love. My heart is also in helping women. Women who have been attacked by the skewed beauty industry here in the US and women who have been victims of human sex-traffficking here and all over the world. Women who for far too long have been abused by the enemy either subtly or blatantly. To use my photography to show them how beautiful they are from the inside all the way out. To look into their eyes and say He has called you out of hiding and dignifies you in front of the world, He calls you by name, He calls you daughter. So how am I letting that guide my business this year?? By starting my personal project of women’s portraits accompanied with their biographies of an obstacle that they have victoriously overcome…

  32. Sandra Fazzino

    Wow! I’m redesigning my brand and would LOVE to win a Tonic site! I think a lot about my "Why" and there are so many reasons for doing what I do. However, one "Why" in particular is at the center of my core values. I just wrote about in my new guide book that will be handed to wedding clients: I believe in the power of commitment. I believe in it so much that I want to honor that commitment, pay tribute to it, document it, and prove that at one point in time, this couple took a pivotal turn, created the cornerstone to their life together, that their history started here. I believe that once a couple is committed to each other, Providence takes place. My favorite quote says it best (and hung on our fridge leading up to the days of my own wedding): "Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:

    Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
    Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!"

    W. H. Murray, The Scottish Himalaya Expedition, 1951

    The power of such commitment has proven over and over again that goals can be attained and often surpassed. I’m proving to myself that I am too shy about goal setting, too careful. I need to raise my proven power of commitment to a new level. Set bigger goals. Be even bolder in my ideals and values… because they are working. I’ve been dipping my toe in the water to check the temperature, and each time it feels more than fine. It’s time to take my ability to commit, see things through and be bolder, ask myself for more so that I can serve my clients more, serve them better, with even more heart and soul. I started by gifting my first client of the year with a very special personalized gift. An idea that sprung to mind during their e-session and will be doing more personalized gift for all of my clients this year. This is my second year main shooting weddings, and I am so excited to watch my business take shape. It is the most amazing feeling all around the cake, from front to back. It’s pure, deep, intoxicating joy. Thank you!

  33. Cristal Veronica

    My "WHY?" is twofold. I love documenting fleeting moments in history not only for our future generations, but also to keep our special and everyday moments tangible. I also love documenting and sharing the life stories of folks who are not typically in the history books (people of color, LGBTQ people, etc.) – documenting these stories lets other marginalized folks know that our stories matter.

  34. Karen

    My why continues to genially get to know people. I love documenting weddings , but what I love even more is the process and communication to get there and after. Knowing that these individuals are more than just clients has always been important to me. I want not only to document their wedding day, but to document those other really important life events, from their first baby to time with grandparents. And hopefully over the years we genially get to know each other.

  35. Sarah Goodwin

    One of my whys of wedding photography is to be family heirloom. And for me, that means taking not just photos of the bride and groom but of the guests who have come from near and far to celebrate and support them on this momentous day. I feel like sometimes photographers scoff at the idea of taking any sort of posed or candid photo of guests and that’s not how I feel at all. In fact, at my sisters wedding and those of my close friends, I cherish the photos of the family and friends who were there in the moment the most.

  36. Erica

    My why is that I want to form relationships with people. I love the art of photography, but I find more and more that when I really form a bond with a couple or a family, the photographs are better (or maybe I’m just partial because I’m really invested in the subjects)! For me, that’s really changed the tone of my business in 2014. I just focus more on bonding with my clients for the sheer enjoyment of forming that relationship. The results have been fantastic and I find that I’m booking clients for additional photography jobs because of it. Thank you for asking about our whys! I’ve been marinating on this change in my business, but putting it into words here is so empowering!

  37. Jaime Faure-Thompson

    My ‘Why’ is simple…to capture beautiful moments God has given us. There is to many negative things that are highlighted in our lives. It’s a blessing to be able to photograph some of the best times in someone’s journey. Photographs are more than just fleeting moments. A photograph can send someone back to a treasured season in their life. Photography is Art lived out and witnessed. My soul smiles when I am looking through a viewfinder. Thank you for this great concept :)

  38. Anna

    My why lies in the fact that I truly believe in marriage and the power of being loved sacrificially…I think that love has the power to change the world and if I can help do that in my own way one person or couple at a time…by reminding them of why they fell in love in the first place, or by giving them a picture of their grandma who passed away months after their wedding, or by making a bride feel beautiful and valued…then I am helping to contribute to a greater good…it’s so much more fulfilling to serve others than it is to do things only for yourself!

  39. Amanda

    I want to redefine the world’s idea of what is beautiful. I want to launch myself into the world of fashion photography in the next 4 years headfirst and make women of all shapes and sizes on the cover of my portfolio. I want to be done with the days of flipping through millions of ads depicting a beautiful woman who, though she comes in many colors now, only comes in one size. I don’t want to get rid of today’s models, I want to add to the definition of beauty and have EVERY size included. I want high fashion to come in every size imaginable and I want a "plus-sized" model to grace the cover of Vogue. I don’t want another little grow to ever say that when she grows up, she wants to look like anyone but herself.

  40. Lindsay

    I allow my WHY to dictate my life because He first gave it to me. My life in Christ is the first and foremost aspect of who I am, and naturally, everything that follows is due to and because of Him.

  41. Carri

    My WHY: To give couples tangible memories of the moments in their lives that they can look back on and remember, share with loved ones, and pass on to their families someday. That they would celebrate their love and the people in their lives when they remember and see those moments again and again.

  42. Erin Schrad

    I have thought about my WHY for a long time… ever since you talked about it at the Lighting Intensive I attended… and I think I finally formulated it. It goes back to an experience I had when I was just getting started in photography. I get great joy out of being able to take pictures FOR other people, for THEIR visual history. I enjoy photography for me, yes… I would take pictures just because I like doing it. But what really motivates me is using photography to serve others. When I was new at photography and still practicing, my brother was in high school… a private military boarding school. We only lived an hour away, so we attended all of his baseball and football games. I would photograph his games (on film!) and then come the next week with double prints that my mom paid for. We would sort through them and group them by player and hand each kid on the team their own stack of prints. We did this all season. At his graduation, a dad came up to me and thanked me for the photos, to which I casually said "oh, no problem!" And then he explained that he had just come home from a 12 month deployment in Iraq and his wife had sent him the game photos each week and that was how he got to see his son play baseball during his senior year. He said those last few months away from home and family were really hard for him and the photos made it easier… made him feel less like he was missing the important moments. It was then that I realized how powerful photography could be. As I am now delving into wedding photography, that experience sticks with me. When I shoot weddings, I think about telling that story for those who can’t be there, and for those who don’t even exist yet that will one day look back at those images as part of their family history.

  43. Joe Don Richardson

    Why?

    Why do I do what I do. It isn’t because I love photography. I like taking photos but it isn’t what drives me. Relationship is what drives me. I want everyone who gets behind my camera to know they matter. That they are important. That no matter what happens, what ever life throws there way that I am there for them. That there is nothing in the world that we can’t handle together. I am going to focus more on relationship and what I can give.

  44. Kate

    My Why…Photography helped healed a hole in my heart that I never thought could be filled. I am going into business this year not just because I love photography, but because I love the joy that it brings to others..the same joy I experienced when I found photography. I want nothing more than to pay it forward through my work and through teaching others.

  45. Joanna LaBuff

    Most of the time- we don’t take photographs thinking of the precious stories they tell. My WHY is changing this for my clients. Sharing my testimony and the heartache that I have because I didn’t document life. I long for a documented legacy (what I wouldn’t give for photos of my mother). I long to gush over photos from the day I committed my life and love to my husband (alas, there is nary a single shot from that day we eloped). I ache for precious frames of the life I embraced all too briefly (my first baby girl graced our lives for only a brief time). I firmly believe that I am called to change that for my clients. To document their lives, their precious stories, and leaving them with memories that will last a lifetime.

    My Why will help guide me into new story telling territory. Not the cliche and mundane but what the essence of life is- love. This is my first year in the wedding industry and can see the blessings coming from serving others and their precious love stories.

  46. Jessica Angell

    WHY… Why do I want to be a wedding photographer? Of course theres the regular reason, to support my family, so that I know my daughter will have a future. But WHY photography? Just because, because who I am as a person comes out naturally when I am behind that camera. I’m very shy by nature but that doesn’t matter when I am photographing. I do it because it allows me to be me. To fall in love all over again when I see my bride and grooms say their "I do’s" to give them something that I know they will forever cherish as much as I cherish my photos. So when I’m behind my camera, it doesn’t matter that I’m nervous, or shy or slightly awkward. All that matters is that I am doing something that I love and I am sharing that talent with those around me. Why do I do what I do? Because it helps me change lives, their lives and mine.

  47. Kristin S.

    What a neat opportunity!
    My why is to show everyone their natural beauty – in themselves, in their relationships, in their everyday moments as well as their most special beginnings.

  48. Leslie Barresi

    So my why is different because it’s not really mine. My why is for my husband who has been a huge supporter of my dreams and my getting through graduate school and to the job of my dreams. And as we jump into the huge, scary, unpredictable world of him quitting his day job to work full time as a free lance artist I have lots of people give me ‘that look’. The ‘wow why are you doing this’ look. And the answer to that why is because he is hugely talented and I have faith that with lots of hard work he too can have his dream job. I’m so excited to return the favor by supporting him and his dreams as wholeheartedly as he supported me and mine. I’m grateful we have such talented friends who have forged this road before us we can look to for guidance and tips on how to make his business the best it can AND still true to who we are.

  49. Kelly Lemon

    I was so honored when you asked me to be a part of your talk at WPPI – and share my "Why" behind what I do. You now know my WHY more than most, but I’d love to share it. I’m a dreamer. I dream big. I fell in love with photography when I was young, and then after the car accident at the age of 12 – I was left with a paralyzed right arm. Over the years I have learned…that God does not allow these brick walls and trials in your life to say you aren’t meant to do this or pursue it – but how hard are you willing to fight and high are you will to climb? That drives the why behind my business. I strive to give my best even against all odds. I knew in my heart that alongside documenting weddings, I was suppose to document stories of human trafficking to raise awareness. After living in Ghana, West Africa for a year and almost completing my documentary – men broke into my home and robbed me of my dream…stealing every hard drive, camera lens, memory card I own. I could have walked away, but I remembered the WHY behind my business – I knew this trial..was not my sign to stop..but to show me how hard am I willing to fight. So I’m starting over, a new documentary. Step by step. Justin + Mary, I am so honored I met you at such a pinacle point in my career. I knew I needed a brand that better fit me, my dreams and my WHY – and after meeting with you at UNITED you told me straight up what I needed to hear. I needed a fresh start. a complete rebrand. It would be an amazing gift to win this giveaway as a start to this new journey! Thank you for the opportunity to enter your generous giveaway!

  50. Tammi Meade

    First, thank you for this opportunity. Second, what a blessing it was to meet the woman I’ve been following for two years (Mary) who inspired me to look deeper into myself, love with more passion and embrace who I am with gratitude and hope. My why? I’m still defining my why. It’s not tidy or pretty… it’s messy and jumbled together. I know my journey started with trying to heal after losing my brother three years ago to suicide, after intimately caring for him through a difficult time. In an effort to fight the anger, the bitterness, the sadness, the guilt and the hurt I picked up a camera after many, many years of it’s absence from my life. I used it to distract myself from everything I was feeling. I focused on technical aspects and I wanted perfection… something I could control. But somewhere in the process I started seeing my world differently. I started seeing my children, my husband, my friends… with different eyes. I started seeing the beauty of the place that I live…. I started seeking light… in every definition of the word possible. I started seeing something in peoples eyes when they laughed or shared a tender moment and I became addicted to going back through those pictures because every emotion i felt when I took them, I felt again and again by just looking at those images. Then I yearned for more…. Getting back into photography saved me from myself; it helped me to heal from an unfathomable hurt and brought new purpose into my life. It gave me hope that everything I had experienced in my life had prepared me for one thing…to make this my life’s work. So I’m starting over. In a way I consider that bleak period three years ago a rebirth. It taught me that by putting someone else first, the greatest gift of all is given in return. Love. As a friend quoted yesterday …. because your journey was never meant to be perfect. It was meant to be refining… I think this is my why.

  51. Jamie

    My why is my Husband and our future family. Obviously I love telling so many beautiful stories so I don’t mean to down play that part. But even better than that… I get to work and create with my husband every day!!! I am so lucky to spend so many hours of my life with my best friend and so thankful that after years of editing until 3am we’re finally both full time. YAY!!! I just hope and pray that we can continue to do what we do and add a few kids in the mix. Scary, yet so rewarding :)

  52. Matt

    My why? I pursue this thing because my children are growing up faster than these fingers can type. I want to be there for them. Be available to them. Not be a Dad who only has enough time to come home late at night to read a story and say "good night." Deeply thankful I can do that, but my heart wants so much more…to be present…to pour all of me into all of them.

52
comments & responses

Add a Comment