When I think back to January first, it seems like forever ago. As if a decade has somehow passed in the course of a single year. To be honest, I have to convince myself it really has been 11 months and not 11 years since I was editing weddings using iPhoto (Gasp!) and photoshop actions I found on the internet for free. That I haven’t aged ten years since I discovered Lightroom, culling, and the advent of VSCO film. My life has changed this past year -and so has my work. It’s grown, evolved, and is finally becoming an extension of who I am instead of something I’m simply trying to be. I’m nowhere near where I want to be – who of us is? – but I’m headed in the right direction. For that, I’m incredibly grateful.
I’m grateful to a handful of people – who through their encouragement, guidance,and friendship – helped me grow into the person I was already becoming. You know who you are, and I’m forever in your debt. But I am also where I am today because of a handful of AMAZING products. These things changed my workflow, my sanity, my feet, and my belief in myself. I wouldn’t be the same without them. (Especially the chocolate.)
With that said, I’m so excited to have the opportunity to give away each one of the 5 things I couldn’t have lived without this year. These products have done so much for me, that I’m paying it forward in the hope that they will do amazing things for someone else, too.
1) A bag of 60% Cocoa Ghirardelli chocolate chips. My editing snack du jour. Seriously. If you’ve never tried these, you’re missing out. Add a glass of fruity pinot and you’re in wediting heaven. Promise.
2) A $45 Gift Certificate to use at Sseko Designs (I highly recommend the sandals!) I know, I know, it’s winter. Who needs sandals in December? If you’re a female wedding photographer – the answer is YOU. Seriously. I’ve shot in TOMS most of my career, but then I heard about these sandals and I knew I had to try them. Not only does the purchase support an awesome cause, and help empower women, they’re incredibly adorable. The first wedding I shot in these shoes changed my life. For the first time in the history of ever I woke up the next morning without a shoe-hangover. You know, that first step onto the floor as you get out of bed when pins and needles and oh-dear-baby-jesus-in-the-manger-that-hurts pain shoots through you? Yeah. I had none of it. Zip. Zilch. Zero. My feet felt…NORMAL. I’ll keep my TOMS for the winter months, but when it’s warm enough for my toes to show, these babies are *it.*
3)The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. This book is eye-opening. It’s honest. It’s gut-wrenching. And it forces any creative to really think about the reasons WHY we stop ourselves from doing what it is we desire most. And then push past that resistance and Do. Go. Be. It was recommended by a dear friend of mine and I think it’s a must read for any creative -but especially for us photographers.
4) The Heist – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Their song “Same Love” became the anthem behind the VoteNo movement in Minnesota this past election season, and helped motivate Minnesotans to stop bigotry from being written into our legislation. The fight for equality isn’t over yet, but this album definitely helped propel it in the right direction. It also happens to be amazing music to edit to.
5) A $120 credit towards any Visual Supply Co product (VSCO Film, VSCO Keys, etc). VSCO Film changed my life. That’s not hyperbole. It literally changed. my. life. It used to take me over a month to edit a wedding. Sometimes TWO! And now, I can have images delivered to my clients in only a matter of WEEKS. The power and speed of Lightroom matched with the amazing film emulation software of VSCO Film (I have 01 and 02) has completely redesigned the way I shoot, cull, and edit my images, and has actually allowed me to find my own artistic voice. I don’t have to worry about shooting for the action Im’ going to run. VSCO is so intuitive and works with my camera’s unique image profile to create presets that let MY work show. It’s not about the action, it’s about the image. I can’t imagine my life without VSCO film – and it’s #1 on my list of favorites this year.
Okay, so here’s the official rules:
The contest will run until midnight (cst) on Saturday, December 8th. To enter: Leave a comment telling me WHY you need these products. What about these five things do you need in your life and/or how will they help transform your business? What dreams/goals/wishes are you hoping to accomplish in 2013? The winner will be announced on Monday, December 10th when I announce my next Favorite Things giveaway.
(The fine print: None of the items in the giveaway are exchangeable for cash value or refundable/returnable. VSCO film requires LR3 or higher or Adobe Camera Raw. For more information on system and software requirements, please visit VSCO. A huge thank you to Liz at Sseko Designs and Joanne at VSCO for donating their products to this giveaway and for helping me change the life of another creative. These women are proof that we work best when we all work together and I’m forever in their debt.)