January 2015

Monday Motivation | Six Tips to Get Moving

Monday, Monday

No one is motivated by Monday. NO. ONE. Even if you work in an industry where Mondays are your weekend, you are still somehow affected by Moday-itis. It's all about the name. Monday. Might as well say "Blahday". And blow raspberries anytime you say the word. 

Unfortunately, what we (I say "we" because I'm guilty of this too) are missing out on is that Monday is really just a fresh start EVERY SINGLE WEEK. If we thought of it like a mini New Year's Day - New Week's Day, perhaps? - then I think we would be a lot more excited and motivated to get moving on Mondays. 

Think about it... 

  • Your diet fell apart over the weekend so Monday will be your diet re-start day.
  • You forgot to workout for the last 2 weeks. Monday is the day you begin again. 
  • House cleaning and laundry have been ignored. Monday is the day you start attacking the piles.
  • All those phone calls you plan on making (like to your photographer, cough cough, 262.366.7980) - make Monday the day you start dialing.

You get the idea. 

Now, it doesn't mean Monday is the day you do it all. It is simply the day you make a plan and set it into action. Just like New Year's Day - you don't accomplish all your goals on the first day of the year, nor should you accomplish them on the first day of the week.

Here are some tips I've gathered to help get your Monday fire started...

Tip #1. Get dressed to the shoes.

Tip #1. Get dressed to the shoes.

Six Tips for Mondays

  1. Get dressed down to the shoes. Flylady swears by it. So do I. Even though our PJs and fuzzy socks are incredibly comfortable to wear all day (if you work from home you cannot deny you do this.... daily), there is something to be said for wearing "real" clothes. Getting dressed makes you feel like you have intention for the day. And shoes in the house? Get a pair of shoes that you will keep just to wear at home. Not slippers. SHOES. I don't know why, but I tend to move faster and with more gusto when I have shoes on in the house. More stuff gets done. Like magic.
  2. Pick out your clothes the night before. If you choose an outfit to wear, you will be more likely to actually PUT IT ON. And besides, it will eliminate the Early Morning Pre-Coffee Zombie Stare into your closet.
  3. Make your bed. This is another one from the darling Flylady. Such a simple task and it makes our day so much brighter. Just do it. It doesn't have to be Army-quality. 
  4. Write a list. Make a list of the things you HAVE to do this week (appointments, deadlines), SHOULD do this week (laundry, cleaning) and WANT to do this week (craft project, thank you notes from Christmas). Assign the tasks to a day. Check them off as you go. Actually, I prefer scratching them out. Until you can't see them anymore. And there is nothing wrong with adding as you go. Cleaned out the fridge (because something spilled and you were forced to)? Write it down, check it off. It's so pretty to see all the checkmarks! Need some ideas on lists and projects? Check out my Pinterest board on Organization.
  5. Plan your menu. This is one of those things that is SO EASY but never gets done. And then we are left scrambling.... eggs for "breakfast for dinner". Again. Plan ahead. Use your crockpot. Take this daily stressor off your back. Use all those recipes you pinned on Pinterest. (I hear that's a thing....um....)  
  6. Take a picture. Sometimes when I'm feeling unmotivated, uncreative and un-everything, I just pick up my camera and start shooting what I see. Little by little, my blood starts flowing and I start feeling better. And then, next thing I know, I'm energized and ready to take on the world (or at least the pile on my desk). Maybe taking pictures isn't your motivator. Maybe it's taking five minutes to knit, paper craft, play a video game, do some yoga. Whatever your passion, just getting started will help push you past the wall of defeat.
Tip #4. Make a list.

Tip #4. Make a list.

I hope this list helps you rock your Monday. Let's go do this...

Stories Framed Photography | big and little changes | I'm a PPA Member!

There is an organization full of card-carrying professional photographers. They call themselves, appropriately enough, Professional Photographers of America. And they now have one more member. 


I have made the giant leap and joined this amazing group. And - before you say it - I can read your mind: "Congratulations, Abbie! But...uh... what does that mean for me?" Well, let me tell you....

At the very root of it, it means you will be getting the highest level of quality, service and creativity that I can possibly deliver to you. And yes, come to think of it, that's how I've always run my business. You always get the best of me. But as a member of PPA, I will have access to training and classes that support my goals and help me build my craft and grow my business. And all of that benefits you all the way around. 

I'm so excited to see what this year will become, how Stories Framed Photography will grow and all that I will learn through PPA and its members.

In fact, I'm jumping in with both feet -- a week from today I will be flying off to Nashville for my first ever photography conference. Or, as I like to call it, Photo Nerd Convention - where a typical conversation can go from ISO to SEO in the blink of an eye. My husband couldn't be happier to send me away to talk posing and post-production with someone who actually understands me. I will be with my people! Hallelujah!

I am beyond excited for my five days of learning and meeting other professional photographers from all over the country. I even have my eye on some celebrity photographers that I will chase down the hall if I have to. (Sssh.... don't tell. It will make me sound like even MORE of a Photo Nerd than I already am.) 

After I get back home, my brain might be a pile of mush but my heart will be pumping and I will be ready to GO! GO! GO!

I can't wait for next week... my first business trip. Wahoo! (OK, maybe I'm just a LITTLE excited to fly by myself for the first time in 11 years... no sippy cups or coloring books and ALL the magazines!) I'll probably be posting to Instagram and Twitter so make sure you follow me there to peek into my Photo Nerd-iness.

Get on my calendar NOW for this Spring and Summer. I know it's still winter (brrr), but if you want a particular date for your session, snag it now before someone else does. Contact me TODAY.  Quick, before I fill up. ;)

Stories Framed Photography | looking forward | big and little changes | daily photo project, take 2

A Special Request

In the past couple days I've gotten emails from people asking me mostly the same thing -- where are the pictures of your slippers and your cold coffee? 

In my previous post I discussed my Photo a Day project. I'm going into my fifth year of taking a photo very single day. I mentioned that not all my pictures are perfect, frame-able landscapes or portraits. Sometimes I desperately snap a picture - literally - at the eleventh hour of things like my feet while watching TV, a bowl of popcorn while watching TV or even - yes, my cat or dog sitting in my lap while watching TV. (I guess I should admit here that I might have a problem...)

So, my friend, here are some of those daily photos. Realize while you look at them that they are not great, maybe not even pretty, well composed or decently lit. But they are LIFE. And the reason I didn't do a big set up or prepare for a "better" photo for that day is BECAUSE of life. As it should be, right?

03.365 | not needed.

Yes, that's a DOOR KNOB. If you're curious, click on the photos and it will lead you to Flickr where I have captioned all my images.

29.365 | new kicks.

Um... as requested - my feet. 

52.365 | cold and dreary.

Here's a real winner. Shot between the mini blinds, fingers included.

57.365 | whoops.

This one takes the cake. Office supplies. Wow.

170.365 | one of those nights.

This one is probably the #1 most repeated shot in my 365 Project. The surroundings vary (karate class, backyard, living room). The drink changes (coffee, wine, Diet Coke) and the book is always different. But there's always a book in my lap. And repeat.

Stories Framed Photography | looking forward | big and little changes | daily photo project

Here we are, deep inside the cold and blustery new year.... well, the first month of it anyhow. I have lots of little things to share with you - and some big things, too. I'm going to post them as they come to me. Which is to say, totally randomly.

Here's today's Random Tidbit.

Daily Photo Project

01.365 | celebrate 2014.

If you didn't know this about me, the non-business-y side of Stories Framed Photography, I am heading into my FIFTH year of taking a Photo a Day. Yes, that's 365 photos, at least, every year. So far I have 1,474 Photos of the Day. Pheeeew, that's a lot.

Some days I have dozens or scores or hundreds to choose from (first day of school, vacation, trip to the zoo) Some days I have exactly ONE photo to choose from. And it ain't always pretty. 

17.365 | dining room office.

Some of these photographs are real winners - beautiful imagery, landscapes, macro details, portraiture.... and soooome of them are, uh, also real "winners". In their own special way. You know, the ones of my slippers, a pile of business books (that was yesterday's. woohoo!) or a mug of cold coffee next to my laptop (that's every day). 

115.365 | brown eyes brown fur.

All kidding aside, do you know why they are - really, truly - all winners? Because they tell my story. My daily story, which, like yours, may not be all glitz and glamour every day of the week (I reserve the glitz for Mondays and the glamour for every other Wednesday).

60.365 | 84 years young.

Some days the photo is capturing how hard I'm working, how lazy I'm being, how beautiful or horrible the weather is. Other days the photo tells how exciting my life is, how well I'm eating or how cute my kids are.

210.365 | good idea.

Have you thought about doing a project like this? The truth is, in these modern days of cameraphones and internet (I just aged myself), it's REALLY easy. And hey, if a photo EVERY SINGLE DAY freaks you out, then try a photo a WEEK. Try one a MONTH. But TRY. You'll be glad you did and only regret it if you don't at least give it a shot (wink wink). 

225.365 | oh, those faces!

Here's what you need:

  1. a camera of any kind
  2. somewhere to store your photos - phone, computer, envelope
  3. a story to tell - big or small, everyone has one

Here's what you can use but don't necessarily need:

  1. a Facebook account so your friends and family can cheer you on throughout the year.
  2. a Flickr account. There are tons of P52 or P365 groups you can join for motivation and inspriation.
  3. a blog - I like Blogger because it's easy. It's what I started with back in 2007. Now there are endless services to choose from so go with what you like.
  4. a place to publish them on paper - I LOVE Blurb for printing my POTD books.
  5. a photo printer for your wall collage when the year's over. Try Persnickety Prints. They are good peeps.

I'd love to see what you come up with! The thing that is so nice about a project like this is that you can share it publicly or semi-publicly or you can keep it completely private. Reason numero uno for doing a daily photo project is to make yourself happy. Of course, along with that is the all-important "to tell your story".... so you can remember it, so your kids can see it years later, so your grandchildren believe it with their own eyes.

Thanks for a great year! | Stories Framed Photography | Year in Review 2014

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2015! How's your hovercraft and electric rotating closet working for ya? 

So, my friends, today marks the three year anniversary of Stories Framed Photography. THREE YEARS! I'm like a toddler, waddling around the place. It's been a real whirlwind - and each year gets better and better. This past year, in particular, has been a fantastic one. I had the privilege of meeting so many new people, making new friends and photographing their stories. There were families, children of all ages, high school seniors, dogs, doctors and a smattering of business professionals.

One of my favorite things about meeting all these people - all of YOU - is learning your stories. I met teachers with decades of experience, I got to know college graduates preparing to start their careers. I talked to parents who worried that their kids wouldn't behave for their family pictures and I hugged grandparents who were overjoyed to have their family all together. I photographed authors and twins, musicians, athletes and even a girl who spent time with the Israeli Army. I met people who love their families and are passionate about their careers.

And then, the cherry on top - I was able to present them with their beautiful portraits and make them SO HAPPY. Even those people who were a little less comfortable were ultimately delighted with their portraits. Those parents who were so worried found relief in a gorgeous portrait of their children. The shy kids opened up and the doubters turned into believers -- in themselves!

That is why I do what I do. Hands down, this is the best job I've ever had. Ha! This "job" of mine is no ordinary j-o-b. It is so much more.

However, when you get right down to it, I would have nothing to do, no one to photograph and no stories to hear if it weren't for YOU. So I owe you all a GIANT THANK YOU for trusting me with your portraits and welcoming me into your lives. 

I can't wait for the coming year and all the stories I will hear and share. 

Here is a tiny glimpse of how beautiful 2014 turned out to be.... Will you be a part of the Story of 2015? Let's begin with the very first chapter - contact me today and let's get started with your family portraits.

Stories Framed Photography | A Year in Review | 2014