Lancaster, Harrisburg & Philadelphia Wedding Photographer | Tina Jay Photography »

A little while back, Jay and I decided to see what all of the “La La Land” hype was about. Everyone had been absolutely raving about this movie, and it was just been nominated for a whole bunch of awards. So off to the theater we went.

In the beginning, I wasn’t so sure how I felt about it. I’m not typically a musical type of girl. But by the end? We were both totally hooked and fell head-over-heels in love with this movie. It’s rare that a movie makes me feel something. Like truly, deep down, feel something inside. I think any creative will absolutely connect to this movie – heck, even my attorney of a husband raves about this film.

Living the life of a creative can be an extremely hard road. I think “La La Land” depicted this perfectly. You can sometimes feel beaten down and defeated, especially when it seems like everyone around you is “making it”…..much more quickly than you are.

One scene in particular hit me hard: Emma’s character had just finished her one woman play, and she could overhear someone in the hallway say “she better not quit her day job” – well that struck a nerve with me, to my core.

Let me tell you guys a little story. When you are starting out as an entrepreneur of any kind, it’s all about the hustle. I hustled hard in the beginning. I worked constantly. So when I finally made the decision to quit my day job almost 7 years ago, it had been a tough road to get to that point. But I was ready, and I had this strange gut feeling, where I just knew I could do it. And thankfully I have the best husband ever, who was completely supportive. When I approached him about quitting my day job, he only asked me one question: “Do you think you can do it?” My answer was “I know I can do it.” And his only other response was “Ok, then go do it.” (I can’t tell you how much I love this man.)

So I put in my 4 week notice at my day job. About 2 weeks later, I meet up with a well known wedding planner in Philly. I had never met this person before (they will obviously remain nameless), and we were just meeting up to chat, and tell each other about our businesses. I brought some of my sample albums to show, and I was super excited for this meeting.

To put it lightly, this person was kind of nasty. And by “kind of”, I mean extremely. I felt like I was being critiqued the entire time, and after they looked at my work and we chatted for a while, they actually had the nerve to say to me: “I don’t think you should have quit your day job.”

**Insert knife, twisting in my heart, here**

That one little phrase felt like such a slap in the face. I obviously left, immediately after that. It was nice and awkward. I had a good sob session in the car, and another one on the phone with Jay.

And then?

I got mad.

How dare someone say something like that to another person? If I’m being totally honest, all I could think from that point forward was “F YOU. I absolutely CAN do this, and I’m going to show you exactly what I can do.”

There’s nothing like being pissed off to light a fire under your butt. To push you. To make you work harder. To prove yourself. And here we are 7 years later. I’m still running my full time photography business, and I couldn’t be happier.

So my heart was singing when we got to the point in “La La Land” where Emma’s character had “made it”. Despite all of her crappy auditions, feeling beat down, and being tempted to give up.

To any of the entrepreneurs and hustlers out there, I just wanted to share this story with you as a way of whispering “don’t give up”. Whether you’re trying with all of your might to get your business going, or getting so overwhelmed that you just want to stop….I hope you keep going. Keep pushing. And keep dreaming, my friends:)

facebook/pin this/tweet/email/contact me

Is it just me, or does it seem like the older you get, the busier you get too? I often feel that way. It had been a long time since Jay and I tackled a house project together, because we always feel like we don’t have time to dive into something new. But winter is the only time we DO have time for house projects, since I’m not consumed with weddings every weekend. So last weekend we decided to dive into our next house project: a wood wall in one of our bedrooms.

We spent a lot of time planning it out and researching everything before we started. So once the weekend came, we felt totally prepared. Then, like all house projects, this one had little issues pop up before we even got started. We realized our window seat was bowing a little, and once we took the trim off Jay figured out it was never braced properly. So it was one of those things where we felt like we did a weekend’s worth of work before we even got STARTED on our project.

But we were finally able to dive in, and I’m SO glad we went ahead with this wood wall! It looks even better than I anticipated (and much better in person!). We used a product called Stikwood (more on that to come in a blog post later), and I highly recommend it if anyone is going for a wood wall look. It was easy to use, and looks amazing – it really transformed our room.

So it took a full weekend for us to finish the project (but wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for our unexpected issues!), but I’m in love with the look! So here I am, in all of my February DIY glory:)

facebook/pin this/tweet/email/contact me

You know what always feels so good to do? Volunteer. It’s one of those things that you can tend to feel like you don’t have the time for. But anytime I do block out time to volunteer in some capacity, I’m always so glad I did. It can just feel so good to GIVE, right?!

Last week I had the pleasure of photographing an event called “Night to Shine” at my best friend’s church in Allentown. Night to Shine is sponsored by the Tim Tebow foundation, and it’s a prom night experience for anyone with special needs. I knew it would be a fun night, but it was so much more than I expected. The turnout was amazing, everyone had so much fun, and let me tell you….it was a PARTY on the dance floor;) I was so honored to be a part of this event!

All of the organizers at Riverbend and each one of the volunteers did such an amazing job. There was a red carpet with paparazzi, limo rides, a hair/makeup area, shoe shining, karaoke, and an amazing dance floor. Here are a few of my favorite photos from the night!

 

The red carpet wa sso much fun – there were people lined on either sides cheering for all of the guests as they entered the venue:

 

This guy was loving the red carpet;)

 

Every single guest was crowned prom king and queen that night:

 

One of the requirements of the event is you need to have police on duty. I love that even the cops got in on the dance floor action:)

This was such a wonderful night, and I loved being a part of it!

facebook/pin this/tweet/email/contact me

I hope everyone had a fun and love-filled Valentine’s Day yesterday! My day was spent editing these lovely ladies…..and eating all of our left over Valentine’s snacks;) Jay also surprised me with a lobster dinner after work – have I mentioned how much I love that man? High fives for husbands who can cook, am I right ladies?!

Anyway, last weekend we had our very first Senior Team meet up for my Class of 2018 girls! And what would be more fitting than a Galentine’s party? I just wanted to have a fun get together at my house, so everyone could meet and get to know each other a little. And get pictures in front of a sparkly gold backdrop. Obviously;)

I can already tell this is going to be an amazing year ahead, I just love this group of girls!!!

So here they are, meet all of my 2018 Senior Team girls:

Maddie + Annie + Amber

 

Alyssa + Annie

 

Marina + Lindsay

 

Grace + Katie

 

Payton + Sophie

 

We hung out….

 

Ate yummy food…..

 

And before they all left I asked them each to write down one thing they love about themselves on a little heart for a photo op. I think it is way too easy to get down on ourselves from time to time, and focus on our flaws. So I wanted to switch it up, and see what each one of these girls loves about themselves! It was so fun to see what each one wrote:

I hope everyone had an awesome Valentine’s Day! <3

facebook/pin this/tweet/email/contact me

To all of my entrepreneur friends out there: is it just me, or can social media sometimes get a bit overwhelming? There are constantly new social media platforms popping up, and it can feel pretty hard to keep up. First it was just Facebook. Then Twitter. Then Instagram. Three platforms? No problem, I felt like I had it totally under control. Then there was Snapchat, Vine, Periscope and who knows what else.

When it comes to social media (and heck, most other areas of life), I feel like there is only one constant: change. Apps, platforms, software…..it will all constantly be changing. I sometimes feel like riiiiiight when I have the hang of something, it completely changes on me. For example – right when I finally felt like I was getting the hang of Snapchat and was posting consistently, Instagram goes and adds stories to their app. So now I’m supposed to post live videos in two separate places? Yeesh!

I’ll admit it: when social media sometimes feels too much to me, I tend to simply back off. I stop posting as much, and just kind of forget about it. But as a business owner, you can’t let this happen. Social media is one of the best ways to get your voice out there. It’s also such an amazing way for your clients to feel like they’re getting to know you – which has been invaluable in my business. Plus, whenever I start to trail off in social media, I realize I miss it. Not because it’s addicting (even though duh, it totally is), but because I miss the interaction with all of YOU.

So this leads me to my point – for so long, I Instagrammed constantly. It was rarely a professional picture transferred to my phone….it was simply an iPhone shot, edited a bit with a filter or two. But it was me….it was about my life. And I loved putting those parts of myself out there.

Lately I had been feeling like I can’t even post to Instagram unless it’s a picture taken on my professional camera, edited to perfection. And if I didn’t have a perfect picture to put out there, I just wouldn’t say anything at all. But you know what I realized? I started to let what most people do in my industry sway what I post. All you constantly hear about Instagram having the perfect 9 square grid. Well friends, let’s be honest – life isn’t a perfect nine square grid;)

So I’ve decided: it’s time to get back to my Instagramming roots. To post whatever the heck I feel like. Yes, I’ll obviously still post all of my lovely/amazing/wonderful/beautiful clients. But I’m going to put more of ME out there too. My goal is to post at least once a day. I’m going to post what I’m doing, what I’m loving, and the people I love in my life. Because I miss not having more of “me” out there. And it’s time to get back to my roots:)

(I totally wish this was a picture of what we’re currently doing. Alas, this is an old picture which is making me miss this island…..and is now causing me to look up flights to see if we can squeeze in a trip;)

facebook/pin this/tweet/email/contact me