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.)
gah. i saw this an hour ago. and refused to be number one. and so now? apparently no one else wants to be either … because it certainly doesn’t look like anyone else has stepped up to the plate.
so. here i am. and yes. i have a total addiction to chocolate. so heck yes. this would make my day.
inner creative battles is my middle name. i’m at this turning point in my photography career wherein i am overwhelmed with what i want and what people are hiring me for. and it’s hard to make a business like creative decision.
i kinda just love music. so there’s that.
those shoes slay me and considering that i went shopping for wedding photographer shoes this weekend and came home with ugly (BUT AMAZINGLY COMFORTABLE) shoes … sandals like this would make me look forward to doing some more second shooting this summer.
and VSCO. ohmyheart. i have been in love with these actions for just about forever. but keep holding myself back from purchasing. because i’m scared to reinvest my monies into something i’m passionate about … when my children are steps away and need things too.
my goals are small this year. i want to quit my “real” job and i want to realize that this is so much more than just a hobby or a small job that i’m passionate about. this is me. and i need to belive in myself.
chocolate and shoes will definitely help with that. oh. and all that other amazing stuff :)
thank you for the opportunity friend.
I have this little addition to chocolate that could be temporarily satisfied ;)
ahh the shoes look amazing, I usually shoot my weddings in TOMS, but if I could avoid the foot pain then I’m totally getting those. :)
I have VSCO 01 which is love, and I’d love to buy film pack 02 because I’ve heard all the crazy awesome reviews on it.
Thanks for the amazing giveaway Athena :))
vsco film pack 001 changed my life, I can’t wait to get pack 002. so exciting, I love this giveaway. :) If I won I guess my life would be double-y changed. but really, it would help improve my photo editing and expand my abilities. thanks for the giveaway!
Well, I just wanted to commend you on picking the “The Heist”…”Thrift Shop” is my GO TO song for singing/rapping like a crazy woman in the car….and it makes me want to visit every thrift shop I see. I am an early stage photographer so I don’t know if the VSCO could help me yet….but the sandals…I am all things sunshine and summer. And well chocolate, who doesn’t need chocolate. Thanks for the contest.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis FOR. THE. WIN!
As a side note, the concert ROCKED my world…and I’d give it as a gift to anyone and everyone, if I could…but all the shows are sold out. Guess who got their limited edition 7″ vinyl of “Same Love” autographed by Mary Lambert? :)
PS> You’re amazing!
CUTE CUTE CUTE giveaway!!!
Ok, here’s my rundown:
I need the bag of chocolate chips because they are the same chocolate chips my husband uses in his world famous (ok, Minneapolis famous…….well…… famous in our house!!) chocolate chip cookies. I’ve never just sat down to eat them (mostly because he won’t let me munch on them!) so I’d love to have a bag just for ME! (Or to have him make said cookies and share them with YOU. ;)
I would love the Sseko Designs gift certificate because I LOVE TOMS. Based on the recommendations of the girls in the CWC board, I bought my first pair a few months ago and have been living in them ever since. SO – if these shoes are right up there with the comfort of TOMS, then I’m GAME! I would love to proudly wear a show that comes so highly recommended, AND that supported a cause I believe in.
I think having The War of Art book would be amazing. I have the Kindle app and I read when I travel as a passenger or by air, but sometimes I feel like I don’t *make* time for reading. And I should. I miss it. And having a new book is always so exciting for me and I definitely do prioritize reading when the book looks as fascinating as this one. Plus – let’s be real – it’s off-season…..I have the time now. :)
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis…. what can I even say about this? My BFF in Seattle told me about them (they are from there, from what I understand), and she posted the link to their song “Same Love” on my Facebook wall in the couple of weeks before the election. It gave me the renewed spirit I needed to keep fighting the good fight for marriage equality here in Minnesota. The Vote No campaign changed my life and my time I spent volunteering for them was incredible and I’m already signed on with Outfront to volunteer (and maybe even work!) for them.
And this – THIS – the $120 credit towards any VSCO product. OH, MY HEART. I am a Lightroom user. I don’t use Photoshop (just Elements) and I am always on the lookout for new ways to improve my workflow and my work. AND – I shoot film. Even since my mother put a Polaroid 600SE camera in my hands last year, I’ve been obsessed and have collected numerous Polaroid and other old camera bodies and I shoot with several of them. Film has brought me back to the art of photography at a time when I needed the boost, and I needed to get back in touch with why I love taking pictures. FILM is alive and real and I’d love to incorporate that love of film into my digital work as well. I’ve seen a lot of awesome results from others who have used VSCO and I am itching to try it myself – out of all of your lovely lovely things in this giveaway, the VSCO made my heart leap out and I instantly knew I had to enter the contest.
My wish for 2013 is just to reinvent myself as an artist. To put past failures behind me and grow from them. TO find comfort in long nights and hard work. To shoot with patience and with my heart. And all of these 5 things can help me to do that! What an amazing giveaway, you’ve inspired me to pay it forward to other creatives in my life! Salud!
Oh my goodness, dreamy giveaway!! I will say, I’ve had my finger hovered over the purchase button on the VSCO presets for a couple months now. I’m still in the stone ages of doing my own “presets” and using free internet ones. Not cool. But for now I just can’t cough up the $$ for VSCO. Someday though!
Also, you had me at this sentence: “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?” <— I've tried describing this feeling to my husband those mornings after a wedding as I'm limping away from the bed, but you nailed it ;) So clearly these sandals are in my future as well!
2013 is going to be the year I finally grow up and put my big girl drawers on and run my business as a business. No more giving quotes to friends off the top of my head, no more giving inconsistently edited images (with the help of VSCO hopefully ;)), just overall running a more professional business. I'm excited for 2013. I may not be full time, but I WILL be official.
My wine needs chocolate, therefore so do I.
The War of Art has spiked my curiosity before…inspiration and challenge are always needed :)
AND I would love to try VSCO 2 in an effort to speed up my workflow. Because yeah, I need sleep ;)
I heart you Oprah!
1. Sseko Designs — I’ve been stalking these forever. I love what these stand for and how damn cute they are. My feet could use a break and I want to look as cool as you. :) These would definitely be top on my list. I wouldn’t say it will transform my business but it will definitely give me one less thing to worry about, and have more time to focus on taking good pictures. :)
2. The War of Art — I’m in definite need of a good read and some inspiration that doesn’t come from looking at other people’s blogs. We have similar taste … so this seems perfect.
2013 is the year of full-time for me … or so I hope. It’s getting rid and shedding of the things that aren’t benefiting me and focusing on the things that are. It’s hopefully booking enough weddings to quit my other job and to stop comparing myself to others.
Thanks Athena — what an awesome idea to team up with these people! xo
1. because you can never have enough chocolate in your life. and small chips seem perfect for late nights!
2. those sandals are adorable and the store has some cute stuff! i live in sandals all summer (infact i pack away all but a few pair of socks for working out)
3. whether or not I win i will be looking into that book. i forever hold a self-destructing attitude about myself and my work. the “im not good enough” and it holds me back. but i cant let go of it and its already hurt me in one career that i have moved on from.
4. macklemore & ryan lewis have quickly become a favorite after their ‘same love’ hit mainstream. i could use some awesome music to edit and work out to!
5. I have been lusting after those presets for-ev-er. But money has been t-i-g-h-t. I hear nothing but great things about them – would be wonderful to have in the workflow!
What a fantastic give-a-way to host! And a little peek into the things you love and move you!
Do I have to have a business to win? Because I don’t officially have a business. But I do photograph. And I don’t know how to edit. But I want to know how to. And having some actions would certainly transform my ability to do more with the photos that I take of my family. So I could actually DO something with them.
As for the chocolate chips…I introduced them to you, so those won’t transform my life…although they did once!