Sacrifices. Struggles. Success.
I went to J*’s Fix conference last week and it was A-MA-ZING! It covered so many key factors on improving your business, or in my case starting my business :) Our homework assignment was to write out our Goals, Strengths & weaknesses. One day I will have the guts to post them. In my Nitty Gritty category I will start posting my struggles, because the reality is this business isnt all fun & games! There are many behind the scene struggles & stresses that you have to overcome. Here's a cool chart that my friend showed me...
Oh and I met thee Jasmine Star! It was so strange standing in line to take a photo with someone other than Santa (and I barely experienced that for the first time this past xmas, when I took lil Jack). I’ve never been one to chase down a famous person for a autograph or photo. Im way too shy, but best believe I totally brag about it later to my family, and sometimes I wish I had the photo for proof. My friend Katy was teasing me because I had no idea what the heck I was going to say! Wouldn’t that be so cool if she recognized me? When I introduced myself she said Hi Janelle, I know exactly who you are. Let’s do coffee. (Even though I’d rather drink hot cocoa than coffee, but for her I’d make an exception).
Hi Im Janelle Marina, (I’m so not used to including my middle name in my introduction! Kinda weird!) I’m the one who asks you a question at least once a week. Can we be instant friends?
No thats too strange, I dont want to scare her...
"Hi I’m Janelle & this is my friend Katy." Thats it. She had no clue who the heck I was, and why would she? I’m only 1 out of 50,000 fans!!! I dont like awkward silences so I added "We are your stalkers!" As soon as those words came out I wanted to punch myself in the arm... What an idiot! (I also knew damn well that Katy has no part in the stalking process, I just didn’t want to single myself out & sounds extra creepy!) But thankfully it broke the silence & we all laughed... she said that since we’ve officially met, we are now friends not stalkers.
I did manage to make her laugh! In the conference she was explaining how she had so much responsibilities on her plate; shooting, editing, album designing, burning cds, & making dinner. She said “I knew that I had to give up some of these responsibilities to be able to still have a life.” Then she paused and I don’t know what came over me but I blurted out, “So you chose to give up making Dinner!” And everyone started laughing! It was kinda cool. The whole room was dark so no one knew who said it. It might not sound funny to you; it’s definitely one of those things that you had to be there to appreciate the funniness.
I didn’t leave with a new best friend, but I’ll settle for all the good information that she gave us :)
I really don’t know how to begin this post without getting all mushy gushy…
When I was 5 years old, my baby brother was in his crib napping and had a seizure. I randomly walked in to check on him and I found him in his crib totally blue. I yelled for my dad to come help! My parents said that if I hadn’t of checked on him, then he wouldnt of made it. I still remember the white stuffed animal dog that I got for being a hero.
This was only the beginning of the struggles in his life.
For those of you that are new to my blog, Michael is my younger bro who was born with Prader Willi Syndrome & mentally challenged. Growing up with a brother who has special needs is a whole other ball game. You’re not worried about him getting on the Varsity team or what college he’ll get into. You just hope that they remain healthy and survive the struggles of School & Life. Getting bullied or laughed at by people who just don’t have a clue. What do you tell him when he comes crying to you because he doesn’t understand why people laugh at him. Are mean to him. Call him Retarded.
My sophomore year of high school, I joined a program called Best Buddies . They educate the public on the need for social inclusion of those with disabilities. I got assigned a special buddy to chill with and helped him feel comfortable socializing with other students. You would be surprised on what a difference that makes in a persons life. It was awesome because even some of the “Popular” football players actively participated in the program, which made it “cool” for others to join. Unfortunately my little brother didn’t have this program at his school. He didn’t get the privilege of going to the Best Buddies Prom or other awesome activities that they host.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if all schools had this program! Well with our help they can continue to grow...
Every year they host a Best Buddies Friendship walk to help raise money to keep the program alive.
This program is very dear to my heart and I would like to do something special this year to help raise money. I am having a Best Buddies Bundle Sale starting today- April 20th, $100 of proceeds will be donated to the Best Buddies Program.
If you decide not to book a session, but would still like to donate feel free to click here! Every dollar counts! When signing up, Join our team A Little Xtra! Thanks for reading :)
This past week has been crazy busy. My new sister had her baby shower and I made her cake. It’s been a while since I made a cake and I forgot about how much prep time it takes. I was happy with the end result, and it fit her theme perfectly.
I was worried that getting my hands on a cake would make me want to go back to my old business, but on the contrary, it actually validated my decision to let it go and focus on photography! I love how photography doesn’t come with a dirty kitchen and sticky hands :)
I’ve been sitting behind a computer for the past few weeks editing the 1,000 photos from Gema & Jr’s wedding. It’s been a while since I have picked up my camera & I miss it. I have made the business decision to outsource the editing process on the next wedding to a professional editing company. Leave it to the pros so I can have more time do what I love –shoot! I need that extra time! It’s especially been hard juggling time teaching/playing with my booger butt (lil Jack) and the household chores. Gosh how I hate chores! It seems like the second I put toys away, I turn around and they are back out!
Here are a few photos of my favorite model…
I was playing around with the 100 yrs action to make the above photo look older. I love it! It looks like my dads old Marines photo.
Jr and Gema fell in love their early years of high school. Six years later Jr purposed to his beautiful girlfriend. They planned their wedding for spring of 2012, just a few months after he proposed.
The sun was shining brightly on the morning of the Wedding. The weather was perfectly
warm as we approached the home of the bride. Gema looked stunning! She was so calm, patiently waiting to marry her prince charming.
Just across town, her handsome groom was having some good times with his groomsmen. When it was time to finally line up to begin the ceremony, the anticipation got the best of Jr and tears of joy rolled down his cheeks.
As Gema walked down the aisle her serenity soothed Jr and they approached the altar hand in hand. Love and support filled the air while Jr and Gema whispered their private “I love you’s” to each other!
Mr & Mrs. Byrd, I can’t thank you enough for inviting me to be a part of your special day! I know this is totally improper but You both are the Chillest people I've ever met! I’m so honored that I was able to capture these moments of pure happiness. May God send you many Blessing! Have a wonderful time on your honeymoon this summer!
I have to say that I was partially responsible for these tears... I had just told Gema that I saw Jr outside and he was very excited! It was as if I had turned on a faucet because the tears just started rolling out uncontrollably! I was apologizing behind my camera while shooting this awesome moment!
Jessica Zermeno did a beautiful job on the bridesmaids makeup. This group of girls were so awesome! They were so attentive and supportive of Gema through the whole process.
My lovely second shooter Katy Perez captured this awesome moment of Jr praying right before the ceremony was about to begin...
The Wedding Ceremony was held at the beautiful St. Paul Apostle in Chino Hills.
Katy caught this "Pound it" moment as they were leaving the church!
Special thanks to Chino Country Florist for the beautiful bouquets!
We headed over to a beautiful little Park by a Golf course in Carbon Canyon Chino Hills, with these pretty purlple trees.
They are such a fun cute couple! Luv them!
Jr surprised his bride with this cool old school Woody! I was so excited to be able to roll around town in it with them!
Only a cool guy would write on his wedding shoes! Awesome!
The Reception was held at Jr's parents beautiful home in the Canyon. Thanks to Lalli's Party Supplies for the rentals and Susie Molina for the beautiful linens. The theme of the night was Enchanted Forest and Katy captured the details perfectly. Yes, there were even Horses!!!
Gema's uncle brought dancing horses and the courageous couple hopped on! It was one of the coolest things I've ever seen! This photo is when Gema reassured Jr, "It's ok, I got this!"
Thanks to Jodi Calderon the wonderful bartender who did an awesome job!
Katy had this awesome angle capturing this romantic rim light...
and this is from my angle :)
Hover on the photo below & click Play to start the Slideshow!
I'M JANELLE MARINA
Wife, Mama Shark, + Photographer.
Most days, you'll find me in mismatched socks and a top knot, working behind my computer with a smile on my face, listening to Zac Brown Band and R&B
--or, dancing in the kitchen with my 3 littles and hunka husband, seeing who could come up with the coolest dance moves. I'm a wedding photographer, West Elm lover, aspiring advocate for our buddies with special needs, and a Certified Dreamer since 1986. We live in a cozy city in Southern California and are always up for a good adventure. I enjoy telling stories with my camera, grubbing on spicy food, and solving the latest Dateline case.