Best of Rhode Island Party
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Here I sit... Red wine in hand...
blogging about my feelings.
WHY? because I find that yes, Im professional but I post these personal blogs because Im also human. I want my clients to know me, understand me and become my friends. I read a statistic the other day.
"More than 80% of small businesses fail within 5 years"...
That scared me.... It's been winter and due to the cold snowy weather, my income consists of Business headshots, product shots and in home client sessions at the moment. Sure, everything is still going great... but, I'm starting to feel stale... Uncreative and bored.
NO photographer wants to feel stale...OR BORED
We go into this business because we want to CREATE, we want to share our art with everyone!
I decided I needed a change.
For myself, for my clients and for my family.
I KNOW I've said over the last few years that when I had a studio.. it made me feel uncreative and trapped. I will not be shooting in this studio much because of that reason... There is just something about shooting on location that just makes me happy and keeps my creative juices flowing.
Heres the thing.. In the past I've offered my clients an online gallery- Option to purchase, download digitals and order prints. Many of them would just order digitals. NOT because they really wanted them BUT because I didn't offer them much else.
What are you really doing with your digitals? are they sitting on your computer? (hopefully they are backed up!) Are they on a flash drive in your desk drawer or collecting dust someplace?
I'll be honest
low end printing labs like Shutterfly or Snap fish... are horrible... Im sorry, but they are... CVS.. sure you can get a ton of 4x6 prints that will fade and print out horrible... your photos will look over saturated, overexposed and they will be printed on cheap quality paper that WILL NOT last.
I have been accepted to a Professional Printing Company. A company that will ONLY sell to Professional photographers. They take the time to look over each photographers portfolio, and either deny or accept them. This company will give my clients BEAUTIFUL products that not just anyone can get! Products that are color calibrated to my own settings that I have on my computer. The quality of the products will last- Because they are high end and professional.
Its my fault that my clients have not been provided with the products that they deserve. My ART is not being displayed the way I would love it to be displayed in my clients homes.
If everything goes over well... we'll have a very pretty and Fancy studio location this spring! :) A location where we can sell our artwork to you. Let you touch and feel and see what we have to offer. I want to be able to show you your galleries in person.. (maybe I'll even provide some wine.;)..) To my current and past Clients- I know this is a HUGE change but I promise you we will always strive to give you the BEST that we can give you!
Our studio will be open to:
- Chat with Portrait clients & Wedding couples.
- Host Gallery Premier and ordering appointments!
- We will be using this as our office as well to edit & return phone calls. This way we can have a life with our family at home and leave our work at work.
- We are also planning on TEACHING photography lessons in the near future!
- We will be collaborating with other creative individuals and putting our brains together to host some type of- Paint and Vino class as well!
- We will also use the space for some sessions including session events and during the cold winter months.
This is going to be AMAZING and I can NOT wait for what the future holds for All of us!
WHAT IS NEW?
- We've taken our most popular items and grouped them into collections to make ordering easier and more budget friendly!
- You will get all al la carte items at discount when choosing a collection.
- Gorgeous NEW Session ALBUMS!
- Large Fine Art Canvas and Canvas groupings
- Beautiful Metal prints
- All wall prints 10x10+ are now mounted for stability
we also have Spring sessions this upcoming MAY that we are in the process of planning! You can check out the info HERE!
We just ordered a TON of products! so keep a look out for our most recent blog posts so you can check out all of our new goodies as well!
One last thing!
I'll be flying out to Arizona to shoot a destination wedding in about 12 days! Please know that I will not have much time to be answering emails and phone calls but- I will be forwarding them all to Justin for that week! you know if you ever need us each of us are only a phone call away!
Our normal office hours are- Monday-Friday 9:30am- 3:00pm Saturday and Sunday are reserved for mostly weddings and sessions and we typically return phone calls 4:00pm- 6:00pm
Love you guys! PLEASE STAY SAFE during the blizzard coming through this week! Lets keep wishing for that warm weather and those spring flowers that I desperately can not wait to photograph!
"THERE ARE TWO WAYS TO BE RICH: ONE IS BY ACQUIRING MUCH, AND THE OTHER IS DESIRING LITTLE."
It has been three months since we have moved into our new home and six months since my last personal blog post (you might want to read that one before this one- check it out here). There was so much I wanted to write about over the summer while we were living in our Airstream, but just such little time.
The experience of simplifying our life, getting rid of all of our unnecessary things was the best thing that we ever decided to do.
At times I'll run across a friend who follows me on Facebook in public and the first thing they ask is if we are still living in the airstream... unfortunately with the Rhode Island weather, It would have been very hard to continue living in it with the kids during the winter...BUT yes... we are still living small! We were so blessed to be able to find the home that we are living at now. Still unique as the airstream but just much different.
We are now living in a old School house that was built in 1898! and nope...there are NO bedrooms in our home.. "WHAT?" thats the first reaction we get when we tell people.. YES my bed is open to my both my living room and kitchen and we used our creative brains to work out a super awesome bedroom for the kids.
Our floors creek and still have the little holes in the wood from where the school desks use to be, Our walls are even all lined with the old chalk boards. There is history in every single inch of this house and we feel so happy to be able to be a part of that history.
LESS REALLY DOES EQUAL MORE...
Less stuff, Less stress, Less expense and More time spent with your family and the opportunity to chase after your Dreams!
Again, I don't hold any judgment against others who have huge homes. I think its wonderful if your happy and it suits your lifestyle. This is what makes my family happy.
I had a bunch of feedback from my last post. It makes me so glad that I was told that I had inspired others. Even if It just sparked something little- it means alot to me. I really enjoy writing these personal blogs, not only because I want my clients to know me a bit better but because its a passion of mine to help others. I want others to understand that they really can go after their dreams with just a little confidence, hard work and sometimes sacrifice. Yes you may have to sacrifice your lifestyle, time even money to go after your heart but i'm telling you from experience its worth it. We thought we were sacrificing our large home, all of our things... in reality it wasn't a sacrifice at all, it was a blessing.
So for those who had messaged me and became a bit inspired... If you don't know me- Im a bit of an honest person so..
Lets talk about the truth....
The number one reason why you are not doing what you love is because your scared. It's scary! more to some than others. Everyone has their own certain particular mindset. Some people have families and friends who are more supportive than others.
Heres one big important piece of advice that I would love to give to you. Don’t let others scare you even more, or make you second guess yourself. Whenever you decide to step out of your comfort zone- everyone.. and I mean everyone..will want to give you their two cents. Others may have good advice, but some will try to talk you out of it. WHY? because they failed once and didn't learn from their failure. They did not have the confidence to continue.
Elbert Hubbard once said...
"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one."
I have a confession, i've failed... many times, but guess what? I'm still here and i'm over it... i'm alive, i'm happy and i'm blessed.
FAILURE IS AWESOME
Why should this be a negative word? Think about it....when you fail you challenge yourself! you learn and you become stronger.
So, this goes for all of you dreamers like me. Don't stop dreaming. Start doing what you love even if its just taking one hour away from your work week to do so. Don't know where to start? grab a old fashion pen and paper watch youtube tutorials and take notes. Read some self development books! Get a Audible account and listen to the books while you clean. Instead of music on the way to work check out podcasts! We are so lucky to live in a world with everything we need here right at our finger tips. Its time to take advantage of that!
Another piece of advice, for you parents out there.. You sacrifice alot for your family. I know you do, YOU CAN BE A GOOD PARENT AND STILL FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS. Try not to just classify yourself as JUST "mom" or "dad" You are still YOU. I can tell you for sure, I absolutely love being Mommy with all of my heart... but i'm also Meagan. I know as a Mother its hard to think of yourself and your own goals because you are always thinking of your children's but I've said this before, when you are happy your kids are happy! your happiness matters too! GIVE THE SAME ADVICE TO YOURSELF AS YOU WOULD GIVE TO YOUR CHILDREN... Because you know they are watching and you are a roll model!
I want you guys to know i'm always an email away if you need any uplifting for a confidence boost! I really hope you all enjoy your Holidays and please make sure to spend quality time with your kids and family. I hope that I was able to inspire you even just a little bit to make you a bit more excited for the NEW YEAR!.. remember to write down some Goals! because... like what Larry Elder said.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
For the longest time, I had it stuck in my mind that I needed to have "things" In order to feel successful.
Its been almost a month now that we have made this life changing move and boy have I learned alot! For one... during the process of moving out of our huge 2000 sq foot mill apartment- I came to the realization that I collected a bunch of useless junk! I also realised that my home was just way too big for our lifestyle.
I honestly look back at my life in that apartment and feel upset that we didnt leave there sooner. I noticed that even though I was home alot of the time, I didn't spend nearly enough time with my children. With all of the chores- laundry, cleaning, cooking, dishes, groceries on top of work, edits and all my other time spent on my computer doing what I needed to do to run a successful business. I was just so stressed out, in a rut and just was sick of the same old routine every single day.
The reactions from others when I tell them what we are doing are priceless. There are some people who think its the coolest thing ever! BUT there are just some people who wouldn't want to do what we are doing. I totally understand and accept that its not for everyone!
The one big thing is you really need to NOT CARE what others think
whenever you life this type of lifestyle. Some people think you are homeless others will think you did it because you are poor, which is not the case!
Here are some reasons why I love the way we live.
1. Family time! With limited space- There's not much cleaning that has to be done. We literately have enough plates and silverware for each of us so the dishes are finished quickly, Which leaves us time to just enjoy our time together. With the limited amount of space we have for clothes we head to our storage unit which is conveniently only about 3 miles from where we are living- to pick out our clothes for each week. (We were never this organised with our larger home!) With a smaller apartment sized fridge I buy less than I need when it comes to groceries, I don't leave the store with any extra items (aka Junk) that I don't need because I simply do not have the room!
2. Financial Freedom!!! - No we are not poor! We are living at a seasonal campground right now so we put down a lump sum for 6 months to live here on a beautiful waterfront property. I want you to do me a favor and Think about HOW it would feel to not have to pay every month for your mortgage/rent, cable- tv, Wifi OR electricity for a whole 6 months *which is all included*. Now how would that change your life? We are not tied down to ANY contracts and we can basically LIVE free of stress and monthly bills.
3. My kids can just be KIDS!- Other than when its yucky outside my kids are simply off of all their tablets, video games and we hardly watch any TV. We just enjoy our beautiful home on the lake, swim, take rides on our canoe, play basketball, tennis, go for hikes, have campfires and there a ton of different playgrounds here as well. Oh and starting this memorial day weekend we will have all of the fun activities the campground has to offer as well!
4. Close to NATURE- A normal day (when I'm free of sessions or weddings) goes as follows
Wake up brew my coffee, Sit outside and watch the sun rise.. There's a really beautiful blue hereon who always flies down and perches himself on the island across the way from our campsite. (I will defiantly get a photo of him soon! he always flies off before I can grab my camera from the airstream) I listen to the ducks, geese and birds chirping and Just take a second to take it all in and collect my thoughts before my day starts.
I'll drink my shakeology for breakfast and then wake the kids to get ready for school. Its so much less hectic than it use to be! Clothes are already planned out, everything's all in place for the day before (may I add this was NEVER the case with my old apartment... We are not organised people BUT we are pretty much forced to be organised here)
Once we bring them to school we head back home, clean up make the beds and set up our work space to get to work! Aka- Get back to emails- Get any edits done I need to get done, create new advertisements, Social media posts- blog or work on my website.
Once all my work is finished Lately, now that its warm I'll take a swim in the lake to get my workout in! Just logged almost two miles today! Its really starting to become a passion of mine.
Next I pick up the kids and we do whatever the heck we want for the rest of the day!
5. Freedom to TRAVEL- Eventually because both Justin and I have separate Jobs where we can make money anywhere that we go. We will be traveling with our home! I have a Wedding booked next year in Arizona and I promised I would take Abel (my oldest son) to the grand canyon- Which he is fascinated with! No Packing we just Pick up and GO!
I don't write this blog and I don't post these pictures to sit here and express how awesome I feel my life is...
I write this to maybe Open some of my readers eyes and realize that
You don't need to retire in order to live the life you love.
I don't hold any judgment against others who work corporate lifestyles have huge homes and own beautiful things. I think its wonderful if your happy and it suits your lifestyle! My main objective in life is to be Happy! and this is what makes my family happy. I feel like so many young adults or even older adults for that matter have the mindset that we just HAVE to do what is expected and what everyone else is doing. Go to college- get hired- buy a home- find a partner have children. There is NOTHING wrong in my eyes with just chasing your dreams and doing whatever it takes for you to be HAPPY with your life.
When all if this is said and done, when you are happy- your kids are happy! I do this for my children because I want them to know that you can do anything you set your mind to, I do this because my youngest child Liam is my last child. (I keep telling him to stop growing... but he just doesn't listen) I tell you straight from my heart that I would rather work the rest of my life and never retire in order to be able to make sure that I'm home and I have enough time to be able to soak up all of my children's hugs, kisses and cuddles while they are still little, because we all know how fast they grow.
I end this blog with just saying this.
You only have one life, don't let ANYTHING stop you from living it.
I wanted to do something different than just the normal baby chick pictures for easter this year. So I did some searching around for Ideas on the internet. I came across Elena Shumilova's beautiful work. Click here to view some of her amazing photography.
She definitely inspired me to host these sessions on a farm. It took me a bit to find the perfect one but once I did it was so worth the wait. I found this great family farm just 30 minutes from Harrisville RI called Kingdom Kids Farm. Its owned by a really awesome family and it is beautiful! Not only will they have baby chicks around the time that I will be hosting these sessions but they will also have baby goats that will be only about 2 weeks old!
These sessions will not be staged or propped. I will be there to follow you and children around while they have a great time playing, petting and having fun at the farm with these adorable animals.
I stopped by to check it out yesterday and grabbed just a few quick shots while talking to the owner. Just to have a picture for an advertisement. I had just picked up my kids from school so I snapped a few of them as well, They LOVED it and even with just seeing the big goats. I really can not wait to see how these sessions end up! I will be visitng the farm again once the babies are born and I will make sure to post aother blog to update you all!
Dont forget to "LIKE" Kingdom Kids farm by visiting their>- facebook!
For more information about these sessions check out my other blog post HERE
Last October, after shooting an all day wedding the day before... I literally rolled out of bed. (ok more like melted). It was 5 in the morning and I decided to wake up my son Abel to surprise him.
I grabbed one of my older cameras, strapped it over his neck and told him he was going to be my 2nd photographer and that he was coming to work with me!
I have been working with the American Cancer Society by shooting and donating my photographs to the Making strides and the Relay for life for the past 5 years. This foundation has a very special place in my heart and I am so thankful I am asked to volunteer each year! :) and to be able to share this experience with my oldest child this year felt really nice..
Here are some photos that I took from the Walk.
Here are some pictures that 7 year old Abel took! I am so proud!
To view the full gallery of images of both My photos and Abels photos from the walk please click on this link: http://meagansharumphotography.pixieset.com/makingstrides2015/
A year ago I made my husband quit the job that he hated... I stepped it up a notch with my business and became a full-time photographer. I owned my own photography studio, shot over 30+ weddings, Gained confidence...Grew as an artist. I even a made a few mistakes but learned from them.
There are days where I will scroll through facebook and notice so many negative statuses... I see so many people doing what they need to do just to get by. Not happy and hating their jobs. I wonder, how did they get stuck in this position? being depressed while living a monotonous life?...
I got stuck into that same rut when I owned my studio. I loved having a place to call my own but I noticed that being stuck in a permanent location was just not for me. Having to go to the same place every day and doing the same thing over and over.. it made me so unhappy and it drove me crazy. I created a life for myself that I was always trying to avoid. The same old, go to work, make money pay bills, sleep... wake up and do it over again. Its not how life should be. I am a true believer that you should create a life for yourself that you don't need escaping from.
I had this CRAZY Idea! I'll close my studio! Buy an AIRSTREAM! and turn it into my Traveling studio!
We found the perfect airstream in western Connecticut for a great price!
Ended up having to stop in Sandy Hook CT
to check out the non-functioning electric breaks on the airstream so we ended up giving calling her- "SANDY"
We were lucky enough to drive Sandy home safe and sound and to have amazing friends who helped us store her in their yard while we got her registered in Rhode Island.
Then parked her at a storage unit for the winter.
Months passed and I started to photograph photo sessions on location again like I did before I had my studio. I noticed a change in myself. I was happy again! After around 8 years of being in business I'm started to really find my own style. I felt so creative and being thrown into different locations to take photos made it so much more fun and exciting.
I thought to myself... do I really want a studio?
We went on vacation to New York and had an amazing time, we didn't have to work.. didn't have to worry about bills.. then I noticed... I created that lifestyle that I needed escaping from... one that I never wanted to have.
As soon as we got back we visited the airstream at the storage unit. I mentioned to Justin... what if?!.... what if we just sold most of our stuff, put half of it in storage and just lived in the airstream?
Knowing how Justin felt about "tiny houses" after watching those shows with him on TV I was expecting him to say "Hell no!!"... what I didn't realize is he was feeling the same as I was. He started getting more excited about living in the airstream than me! So... we did our research.
From April - October we could live on a beautiful lake in our airstream with the boys for while saving up paying off some bills and just enjoy our time together. Enjoy nature, campground events and just LIVE.. without the worries of having to pay for too many amenities. It will cost us around the same amount of money to live there for 6 months then it would for us to pay for 1 month at our apartment now. As for where we will live in the winter? We will figure it out when we get to that point.. but that's how life should be right? An Adventure!! :)
Here are some professional pictures we took for the owner of a campground that we would love to be accepted into. He wanted to make sure that our airstream is was nice enough to park there seasonally which we totally understand. We are still waiting to hear back from them. Wish us luck!
While we are waiting we have been slowly getting things ready! So far we.
Covered most of the old faux wood with fresh white paint so it's looking so much more up to date and modern!
Ripped out a bunch of trim from the inside that was pretty much useless and taking up room, as well as a whole side of the middle area so we can create more storage and an entertainment center.
We ripped out part of the wood floor in that area as well and we will be installing carpet tiles.
Abel suggested that I should paint a starry night mural on the ceiling of their room area so I might also be doing that as well, complete with glow in the dark paint :)
So that's it so far! I will make sure to contunie blogging about this fun little adventure we are about to take and I hope you all will follow.
Heres a question for you.. How would living small improve your life?