Thursday, July 31, 2014

When You Say Yes...What Are You Saying No To?

Read the title of this blog post again.
Now slower.
Think about it.
What did you come up with?

That question was asked to good friend of mine who has a similar problem many of us seem to suffer from and that, my friends, is the ability to say no.
This question has literally changed my entire outlook on saying yes or no to certain jobs, social events, personal choices and on and on I go.

When you say yes, what are you saying to no to?
Are you saying no to:
Quiet time in prayer?
Time with your children?
Time with your spouse?
Time with family
Healthy eating?
Working out?
Stress free days?
A good book?

I said yes to the duck face and no to looking good haha

Sometimes I say no :
Owning my own business has been a legit exercise in time management and the ability to say no. Sometimes, I DO have to say no to good things like a few social events here and there or a good movie at midnight or morning coffee with friends to get some work done in the studio.  I have also learned when to say yes to those things.

Gotta find your balance:
Everyone has their own way to balance these things, but mine has certainly been learning to say no even when I know I might disappoint a friend or perhaps turn away a photo shoot because I need time with my kids.   I see some people literally run after EVERYTHING they are asked to.  Committees, sports teams, every single birthday party known to mankind, dinners, photo shoots etc.  These aren't necessarily bad things, but sometimes they are taking away from the other things we need to being saying yes to.
I said yes to waterfalls and no to work for a day.

Goodbye Social Media (for a bit)
I have also learned to put the phone down and read a book.  I read an entire 450 page novel last week after putting my phone away for about 4 days.   Go figure.

It's always been important to me. I took a month off because I had seriously hurt my back and realized I was little grumpy and my self esteem was taking a hit. However, I really didn't feel I had the time.  (that's a lie).  I have time.   I just had to say no to maybe messing around on Facebook, or no to a load of laundry here and there to invest in 55 minutes of my day to working out . I am doing the Body Rock TV 30 day challenge in case your interested.  I said yes to fitness.

All this to say- when you say yes to everything and everyone... you might actually being saying to no to some really good things in your life.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

We Aren't Charlie's Angels...But We DO make a Great Team

It's been a journey this past year and a good one!  Along the way I have been blessed enough to incorporate the talents and personalities of some amazing women.  God put these precious people in my path and it's been quite a trip.
I want to formally introduce this team and show you EXACTLY what we are doing and who you will be working with when you call!

Shelly Wood (Teen Photographer)

 She is our Epic Teen photographer and co-wedding photographer.   She specializes in photographing teens 11-16 years old.  You will also see her when we photograph weddings!!
If you have never thought about having your young teen professionally captured, it's a great time to think about it!

Erin Bremer Newborn Photographer

 Erin specializes in newborn photography, check her out at Erin Bremer Photography. She also assists on on our high senior shoots and weddings!  She is priceless and absolutely gifted in this area.  So, if you call for a newborn shoot, this is the beautiful person you are going to find. 
Gia! Hair specialist and extraordinaire! 

Bailee, make up artist and miracle worker
We also have the super powers of Bailee and Gia!  These girls have seriously MASTERED wedding day hair and make up.  They are best friends, fun, sweet and so crazy talented.  Every bridal party they have worked with has fallen in love with them.  They are efficient and working weddings with them is seamless.  You can check out some of the work they have done with me at

High school senior make up artist
Glory is our most recent addition to this fantastic world of styled photography.  Glory accompanies us on our senior styled shoots and make our soon to be high school seniors look absolutely stunning!!!  Check out her work with me here:

Hi. This is me and my smolder look. 
Amber, owner and head photographer of Amber J Photography

Owning a business has been a blessing and a journey!  If you didn't see it by now, we specialize in high school senior portraits, weddings and teens.
Please visit our landing page to and take a look around.

Now you have met our entire team of amazingness.  I hope we see you soon!!!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Chasing Dreams With Bloodied Knuckles: {Upstate NY Wedding and High School Senior Photographer}

Don't you love all the cute quotes you see on Instagram and Facebook?
- "Be Fearless"
-"Do something every day that scares you"
-"Follow Your Passion"

Amazing right?  Those quotes stir something inside you and you just want to fist pump to the sky..."FOLLOW MY PASSION"!    You picture yourself running the steps in sync with Rocky
Balboa ( don't act like you haven't done that).
That fist pump then slams into reality and it scrapes and bloodies your knuckles.

Because let's be honest
- "You aren't good enough"
- "EVERYONE is a photographer, you are no different"
- "You hate failure"

So, I am going to share a little story with you. It's not my story, but you will see its application.  Let me comfort you right now with these few simple things:
- You will fail when you try something new.
- There will always be someone better than you.
- You will get frustrated.
- You will get hurt.
- You will accomplish what you set out to do, but first, you have to set out to do it.
- Your failure will be your greatest asset.
- Bloody knuckles will be worth it
May I introduce Jill Kemerer.  This lovely woman (and friend) has been writing brilliant stories for years.  No one understands failure, rejection and accomplishment more than she does.  I am going to wish her congratulations on being a PUBLISHED author by Harlequin. It still gives me goosebumps that she did it.

Read on: Blog post by (PUBLISHED author) Jill Kemerer.

Celebration Time! I SOLD!!

I can't believe I'm writing this post. 821 blog posts and I'm finally writing it.

I sold a book to Harlequin Love Inspired!!!

Yes!! I. Sold. A. Book.

The current title is Her Wedding Hero and will be released in April 2015! Amazing!!
I don't know about you, but whenever I hear a writer sold her first book, I'm curious about her writing path. Let's go back, shall we?

1992 - I throw a romance novel across the wall, mutter "I can do better than that," and decide I will. I write twenty-two pages of a dippy romance where the hero and heroine have no problems and go on fun dates. It hits me that characters need problems or the book ends at page twenty-three.

1996 - Browsing a bookstore, I find How to Write a Romance and Get It Published by Kathryn Falk. I'm mesmerized. A manual? For a job I never dared dream about? I'm in! I devour this thick book.

1997 - Nine months pregnant with our first child, I quit my job. My husband and I agree I'll be a stay-at-home-mom. I announce my next career will be writing romance novels for--wait for it--Harlequin!

2004 - After years of putting writing on hold, I'm itching to get back into it. Our youngest will be in pre-school soon. I join a local writing group and get very excited about our assignments. Publishing feels real again.

2007 - I join RWA. My youngest will enter Kindergarten, so I begin writing full time. I finish a romance novel--a delightful kidnapping/private island contemporary. Imagine my giddiness when Harlequin Romance requests a partial! This is it! I'm on my way! (On a side note, I believe this was when I said, "I'll give it a year. If I don't get published, I'll find a job." *snort*)
To read her full blog post: