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Heirloom Wedding Albums — Spokane Wedding Photography

I ordered my first sample album just before the bridal show. I honestly wanted to order about 6 of them, but H told me I couldn’t. I hate it when he’s so sensible. I finally decided to start with Alaine & Dan’s beautiful Mazama Ranch House wedding, mostly because I’m in love with that venue. I’m a sucker for barn weddings, what can I say? [side note: I need someone to book a barn wedding for 2014 because I need an excuse to buy cute cowboy boots.]

I’ve heard great reviews about Red Tree albums, so I knew I wanted to go with them for my albums, and they did not disappoint. Originally, I had every intention of photographing the box it came in and all that jazz, but then it was late (UPS showed up after 9pm) and I tore open the packing box like it was Christmas morning. The album comes in a great box, which it’s currently stored in, sitting on a shelf in my office. Every album comes with a fuzzy fabric sleeve, designed to keep your wedding album safe and clean. And the album fabric. Oh guys.

Red Tree offers silk fabric covers and beautiful leather covers. The next album will be leather, but this? When Melissa of Applebrides stopped by my Bridal Festival booth, she said it best: it’s pet-able. It really is. This fabric is so fantastic and rich feeling, I knew I’d picked the right company. Such great texture and rich color. And the pages! They’re the most important part. These pages are thick and shiny, and so so vibrant. Personally, I usually prefer matte pages, so I was a bit worried. But after having hundreds of brides pages through this book at the bridal show, you can’t even see a fingerprint. I’m a convert to the shiny pages. I could not be happier with my choice of album company.

After all that, I award you with some pretty images.

Spokane wedding photographySpokane wedding photographySpokane wedding photographySpokane wedding photographyHeirloom wedding albumsHeirloom wedding albumsHeirloom wedding albumsHeirloom wedding albumsMazama Wedding PhotographyMazama Wedding PhotographyMazama Wedding Photography

This book contains my standard, 10 spreads (20 pages) and they’re seamless pages (no break in the middle) that lay flat, so your photos have a minimal crease. SO pretty. If you’ve booked with me in the past, shoot me an email to find out what they’ll run. New clients? I’ll be bringing this baby to every consult. And resisting petting the fabric cover ;)

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2013 In Review — Running a Business

2013 flew past me in the blink of an eye. Back in high school, someone told me that the years go by faster as you get older. I’m not sure if that’s true overall, or if it was just true for 2013, but I felt like the year was gone in the blink of an eye. Starting the business was a big part of my year. It was the source of my most triumphant moments, as well as a player in the lowest moments too. I struggled with finding validation. With understanding that I can’t measure my worth — my personal worth — by whether people want to book me or not (but I can measure the success of my business by that metric), my outlook changed. I feel like, as a whole, my business did well in 2013. But, as always, there’s room for improvement. Late in the year, I confessed that I got a job in retail, only to leave that job a few short months later (which I hadn’t talked about yet), but I learned so much from those short months. However, I’m happy to be only self-employed again. Really. If anything, working for a retail giant confirmed the thought that this business is where I want to concentrate my attention.

Midway through the year, we picked up everything and moved to Spokane on very short notice. The big move could have been a big mistake. I was terrified that we would have moved, only to regret it a few months later. But it’s felt so right. Deep down, I know that this was the right move, not just for the business, but for us. We’ve been so much happier since the move. H loves his new job, I love all the sunshine. We both enjoy the better weather (there are so many seasons here!) and the lack of traffic. I wish there was more snow on the ground (come on, Spokane!), but I’m so thankful to be part of a great photographer and wedding community here. There is a sense of belonging that I never found in Seattle, as much as I loved it there. It just feels right. Although, I think there needs to be an IKEA in the area. I miss cheap meatballs! ;)

I only met about half my 2013 business goals. So last week, I really sat down and looked at them. Some of them were laughable. Totally unreachable. And then I made goals for 2014. This year, I’m not making crazy big goals (that was a problem last year). This year, it’s all about SMART goals: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, & time-bound. For example, one of my goals? To visit a new Spokane area venue each month. Another is to shoot 5 rolls of film this year, because I miss shooting film. I’m still working on fleshing out the last of my goals, but I hope to have 10 of them for the year. Small goals that are going to be building blocks for a better business.

You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe. trust. let go. and see what happens. — Unknown

below the boat photography

I shot this image a couple months ago for a fantastic company, Below the Boat. One of my goals last year was to challenge myself as a photographer. So I’ve been doing some product photography. Below the Boat sells these fantastic charts, and some of my work is already up on their site. I’m more than a little in love with these beauties.

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Spokane Bridal Festival 2014 — Spokane Wedding Photography

Oh my gosh.

I don’t think I really knew what I was getting into, doing the bridal show. And lots of things went wrong. I spent a lot of time designing all the paper goods for my booth, and then? My postcards & banner didn’t show up, thanks to the polar vortex. So I madly dashed to Staples for some replacement postcards. Thankfully, they were done in time, but they weren’t as nice as the ones from my printers (although kudos to the printer, they gave me a full refund). My banner? My gorgeous 4′ banner? Replaced by a little one I did at midnight the night before the show. I probably should have left the standard one up, but I worked hard on this sucker. I’m tempted to hang the big one in my office ;) Too much?

Spokane Bridal Festival Emily Wenzel

An overview of the booth. Overall, I’m really happy with how it turned out. I loved my slideshow, and how it gave people the chance to see more of the “moments”, even if they weren’t the epic frame-worthy ones, I really love those little moments. Next time, I’d elevate the TV a little more, I felt like it got hidden behind me at times (and I’m not tall).

I snagged some beautiful gray fabric from Joanns for the table, and the curtains are IKEA (leftover from our Seattle apartment). The lights, the small wood frames, and the LOVE banner are from our wedding. I had a couple people ask me about the love banner. Maybe I should start selling them on Etsy?? Haha. The small wooden frames & the two large frames on the table are from Michaels. The hanging wood frames and clear bud vase are from IKEA, discontinued. The large frame on the floor is also IKEA, it’s a Ribba frame. The other two frames on the table are unknowns, gifted to us. The two taller vases are wine bottles, saved from our trips to Germany (they had wine made from the family’s grapes).

Spokane Bridal Festival Emily Wenzel

Me, in front of the booth. Why can’t I ever make a normal face??? Also, that photo at the bottom left was the most remarked-upon photo at my booth. It’s from my Camden Ranch styled shoot.

Spokane Bridal Festival Emily WenzelSpokane Bridal Festival Emily Wenzel

I had to include this shot, because dang. I got a cute guy. Who was awesome about helping me out all weekend, even though that hadn’t been part of the plan. He helped me deliver & set up on Friday. Rescued me when I felt overwhelmed on Saturday, and spent most of the day at the booth on Sunday. [Don’t worry, I let him out to watch the Seahawks game].

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In the end, it all packed down to this. A cabinet (empty, ready to be refilled with wine glasses), two boxes, a bag, the tv, and my stepstool.

I’ve got lots of ideas for next year. I loved 90% of my booth, and felt like about 10% of it could have been really improved upon. Like my giveaway sign-up and getting another album. I’ll be posting more about my album next week too. It’s soooo pretty. You guys need to order them so I can fawn over them more ;)

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Ugh I loooove that shot you took of us with Ed! Will always be one of my favorites :)

[…] of the things I noticed at the Spokane Bridal Festival was the number of people who’d just gotten engaged. The bridal show is timed so that […]

[…] show season is upon us. I’ve spent the last couple days getting the details together for my booth at the Spokane Bridal Festival on Saturday (I’ll be in booth #331, come say hi!) and I wanted […]