So I found this sitting on our server labeled “draft” and embarrassingly, I have to admit, I completely forgot to post this. This is a blog post I wrote more than a year ago just before our 2011 season started. We were newly married and life had thrown a barrage of challenges at us, but we were still standing, still moving forward. This is now a sort of time capsule as from here we have moved on again, constantly refining our craft and striving to remain humble and grounded.
Since this post was supposed to have been published, we have shot another amazing season (this one a more manageable size), traveled Europe, taken on an intern, won some more awards, etc, etc, etc….. but that will probably be in another blog post.
“This is a bit of a belated post to be honest. We have wanted to share with you the changes that have been going on in our lives for a long time now. We have been incredibly busy (which is great), yet that has unfortunately prevented us from spending some time writing this up. So finally, here’s what has been on our minds these past 6 months!
We have done a whole lot in the past year and a half. It as all whipped by so quickly, and we don’t want to forget any of it! 2010 and early early 2011 were very exciting times for us.
In both our personal and business life, 2010 was a huge learning curve for us, and a year of achieving many goals we had set. We bought our first place, we renovated, we adopted kittens, we planned a wedding. We took on 34 amazing weddings, we photographed our first destination wedding, we won 2 BC Wedding Awards. Of course the good comes with the bad. Finances were tight, especially after half our shooting gear was jacked from our jeep on an e-session, our wedding plans fell through and had to start all over, family members grew ill and passed away, and it seemed to all pile up at once. It is during these rough times that we are immensely grateful to our families and friends for their love , support and patience. It is also through these times that we need to be thankful for what we have in life, and to see the good that comes out of every situation.
We got married!
As Kat and I sit and reflect on last year’s success and failures, and plan for this year’s goals, we can’t help but be thankful for all those who have trusted us to capture their most important moments. We feel honored every time a couples says, “We would love you to take our wedding photos!” Thank you to all our 2010 brides and grooms.
For 2011, we are refining, tweaking and simplifying. Though we don’t consider ourselves veterans in our field by a long shot, we have enough experience to know what worked and what didn’t. So here we go!
We are incredibly excited to open the doors of our new Live/Work Studio! Gone are the days of meeting us in noisy coffee shops and restaurants! Now we are happy to invite our clients to our loft on Main St. where you can sit on our red Queen Ann sofa or our Barcelona chairs and see our work on our big TV. We’ll offer you an espresso, San Pellegrino, wine (if we have it!) and enjoy an casual meeting experience. You may even have the joy of meeting our full-time four-legged staff who want nothing more than to meet new people ;p
What we learned last year that will not change!
Kat & Dan are a team; we will never split up (never say never, I know!!) and shoot multiple weddings on the same day and hiring second shooters to fill the gaps. Part of what makes our style so special is that there are two styles merged into StonePhoto – you always get both of us. Always Kat and always Dan!
We work together in such a symbiotic way; Dan getting this angle while Kat gets that one; knowing exactly what the other needs just by a look or a gesture. And lighting…..ohhhhhh lighting! This is where Dan is ying to Kat’s yang…(okay, that came out wrong). Kat usuallys poses our couples while I’m obsessing over creating lighting situations and the adding context to Kat’s ideas. We don’t want to change this at all.
By no means to we want or imply that single shooters or teams that split up to shoot multiple weddings a day are bad or less committed. There are different ways of doing the same thing, and we feel lucky to know that we have found a partnership that can’t be replaced and would never what to divide.
Going Forward By Stepping Back
We have decided that we do not want to be a factory and pump out wedding after wedding. Although we loved every single wedding we photographed last year, 34 weddings was far too many for us to take on while maintaining creative uniqueness. We definitely felt the crunch in the fall, and perhaps there were many factors that led to a stressful season last year, particularly in October; 9 weddings in October, renovating in October, squatting at our parents’ in Surrey and New West while shooting those 9 weddings in Vancouver, our gear being stolen from our car in September, the stress that accompanies any new mortgage owner, planning our wedding…the list goes on! We are quite impressed and not sure how we pulled off Thanksgiving weekend last year with 4 weddings back to back, while still making it at least 2 family dinners!
We believe all our couples deserve our very best. This summer we are limiting ourselves considerably to a point where we are comfortable and feel we can devote completely to our clients.
Love you all for reading,
Obviously posting this now seems a little redundant, but after re-reading it I felt this “Time Capsule” from a year ago gives perspective on how much we have grown and how much has stayed the same. We did cut back the following summer, and again this year. Constantly devoting more time to each couple and creating something unique and fresh, but also keeping time for us and our growing family. Remember those kittens we adopted from the SPCA… well they are not kittens anymore! And the loft continues to evolve as we change this and paint that… next big project is a brand new kitchen
Thank you all for reading my ramblings.