Hello Gloomy Monday! I love Mondays because they are like my Sundays! I now go by Jacks crazy work schedule & his "weekends" are usually Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, which threw me off at first but I've grown to like it! So being the "stage 9 clinger" wife that I am, I had to change around my schedule to fit his so we can enjoy some quality time together! Yes, he actually likes spending time with me too, or he's just a really good faker!
My goal was to start blogging every Mon, Wed, Fri, but that didn't start off too well with our new schedule so I changed it to tues & thurs. But I don't feel like that's enough interaction with my readers! The whole point of me even writing on this blog is connect on a personal/ professional level with my readers; so hopefully they like me enough to BE potential clients or BRING in potential clients or just be my FRIEND!! Hopefully some of you even get inspired to follow your own dreams! If you continue to read my blog then I take it that you either like photography, or enjoy reading about my lil crazy family, my struggles, & survival stories through this zig zagged journey of following my dreams! Its not like I enjoy talking to myself about my own life! This is why I get sooo excited when people actually leave feedback! Thank you to those feedbackers! I appreciate you!
So I wrote out a list of topics I'd like to write about before my Lil bambino is born, so I better get on it! Jack will just have to play Call of Duty while I'm blogging on his days off! I'm sure he'll survive :)
Where to begin... There's sooo many things to say and I don't know where to start! I think its a good time to cover "How to juggle business & pleasure"! Its Definitely something that I struggle with because I love my family & love spending time with them, but I also LOVE photography and I want to spend all my time improving my business! Its sooooo doggone ADDICTING! But I see my son & realize how fast time really does fly & I don’t want him to be 10 and me thinking that I wish I had spent more quality time with him!
Honest moment... My main priority is my family! I will do anything for them! Then comes my Career! I have strategically arranged my Package timelines to work around my family schedule. I let my couples know ahead of time when their images will be ready & I do my very best to finish BEFORE that time! "Under Promise -Over Deliver!" is the best advice I heard for my business! I give myself enough time to work in my family schedule because it's so important to be able to balance both work & pleasure! This is why you might notice that instead of constantly posting how I'm busy editing all day & night & being a prisoner to my computer. I am able to fit in some fun stuff like decorating the tree with my boy or enjoying a bonfire making bootleg smores (marshmallows in chips ahoy cookies- hey don't knock it till u try!) I would hate for my clients to think..."what the heck, why is she doing this when she needs to be working on my photos!" - my answer is... don't worry I PROMISE (unless I'm on my death bed) that your images will be ready in the timeline that I set to you!
I've been in that exact situation where I was waiting for my photos & the photos were pastdue and the photographer was just blowing me off... they Never honored the estimated time & I felt like I was constantly bothering them for my photos! Then I saw them post about leaving on vacation on their Facebook and I just wished that they had just communicated with me & took their job seriously! Um did i mention that the photos were PASTDUE!!!That's a big No No! Don't get caught in lies on Facebook! That goes for both business & personal life! I catch people all the time in their lies & it's rather sad! and trust me I'm not sitting at my computer trying to catch these lies... With technology today you don't need to, they literally just pop up on my newsfeed lol! Anywhoo back on topic I would never want to put my clients in that same uncomfortable situation! So if you see me leaving on vacation and I've still got photos to turn into you, rest assure that my OCD butt has arranged my schedule to get your photos to you on time!
My secret weapon to being able to have a life while getting work done is OUTSOURCING! (Ill Elaborate more one that in a separate blog post) But in a nutshell I work with a Professional Photo Editor who I outsource my post editing to. She knows exactly how I edit & understands my style. So while I'm off snowboarding (ha not really I just wanted to sound cool, its more like sliding down the mountain sitting on my board) she's editing away on my photos to have them to me before the deadline, so I'm able to proof them & make sure their up to my standards & ready to be posted on your online gallery! (wow that sentence had way too many &'s! Good thing I'm not getting graded on my blog posts!) I take my job very seriously! Nothing gets overlooked!
Hope that this blog was easy to understand, I tend to just ramble on & on! Feel free to Leave a comment or just press the LIKE button... I interpret those Like's as little high fives through the internet! It lets me know Im not all alone in this big world! :) Ta Ta Until Wednesday, hopefully!
I leave you with this family pic from our maternity/family session with the wonderful Abbey Lunt! Cant wait until she blogs our shoot so I can share them with ya'll!
I guess you could say that I have OCD when it comes to creating lists! Or the way I see it is coming to terms with my horrible short term memory so the only way of getting anything done is to write lists! I have about 4 calendars! And best believe that I update each one! I have mini lists for my larger lists! Sometimes I even go as far as sketching out my ideas! I know its pretty sad but thats the only way I know how to function!! Jack hasn’t come to terms with his horrible short term memory and sometimes try’s to shove random stuff onto my lists & it totally throws me off of my groove… So Jack I love you BUT make your own doggone LISTS! Stay away from mine! Lol!
So here is how I began the designing process of our Baby Shower! With Sketches & Lists of course!
We’ve always called Little Jack our “Lil Man” so it was pretty easy to choose the “Little Gentleman” theme for our new lil man joining us! I love the mustaches, bowties, & newspaper vintage look!
I’ve always wanted to make decorations for parties, but I am a huge procrastinator and never follow through with them. So for me to actually plan ahead and follow through with these DIY decorations is a pretty big deal for me!
I started by collecting frames. My father n law gave me this cool old gold frame that he got from GoodWill and I bought the other 3 frames at the Dollar Tree. The spray paint is from Walmart! I had no clue how fun it is using spray paint, no wonder tagging is so addicting!
We took out the glass from the frames and sprayed each frame! I cutout letters on cardstock paper and used clear fishing wire to hang them inside the frames.
The frame to the right: we hung twine and used mini wooden clothespin to hold the photos.
It was pretty easy collecting bottles for the vases… Jack just had to drink tons of our favorite soda! We got the twine from Walmart.
And my lovely friend Mink donated her Coke bottles that she had used at her sons circus themed birthday party! I used the twine to give it a cute look, but also to cover the Coca Cola labels that kinda showed through the paint!
We got all the flowers at the Flower District in Los Angeles! I was totally surprised on how inexpensive they are there! I was in floral heaven!
I ordered some mustache & bowtie cut outs from Etsy! It was way cheaper to just get the cutouts and hot glue the wooden skewers on ourselves, rather than the already made masks! I’m all about saving that $mula$!
They were placed on each table for the guests to take a photo with and take home.
My family and friends saved me from having to eat chicken noodle soup, jalapenos, beans, and enchiladas for a whole month, by donating their tin cans for the centerpieces.
These doggone bowtie napkins took the longest to fold & tie! But they were so cute! The colored napkins were from Party City & the ribbon is from Walmart.
We also used the tin can & popsicles for the diaper raffle game.
All of the banners were handmade from newspaper, colored cardstock, and believe it or not pages from a thesaurus from the Dollar Tree (they give the same look as a newspaper but have thicker pages, so they're easier to work with!) We also made little white paper fans and glued on the mustaches & bowties.
And that’s a wrap! I hope this post was somewhat interesting! I am in no way a party planner/decorator, I was just excited to share my inexpensive DIY projects & how I turned trash or recyclables into my decorations!
A new "little man" will be joining our crazy clan in Feb. 2013 and what better theme for our baby shower than A "Little Gentleman" theme… Mustaches, Bow ties, with a touch of vintage items!
This was our first DIY project and we had so much fun planning this shower, creating the decorations/ centerpieces, and seeing it all come together before the rain decided to fall! Thank goodness we had rented tents from J’s Party Rentals they also provided the tables and the linens.
Never leave a prego woman in charge of gathering the yummy goodies for the dessert table, you’ll end up with way too much junkfood!
The dessert bar consisted of different flavors of popcorn (caramel, white cheddar, and butter), powdered doughnuts, brownies, rice crispies, marshmallows, white choc pretzels, and regular pretzels all be dipped into the milk chocolate fondue fountain. As if we didnt have enough work on our plate, I decided to add to the pile and made my own cake, click here Sweet Dandelion to see more of my cakes!
Being that the shower was going to be smack dab in the middle of the fall, I wanted to keep my guests warm with a hot cocoa bar! We had everything to make your fav hot cocoa... Mini marshmallows, hazelnut or vanilla cookie straws, and whipped cream to top it off! Ok so maybe that's how u make my fav hot cocoa lol!
The beverage table also had some chilled lemonade that was served in cute mason jars with blue or green paper straws and a Sangria jug that had some pretty tasty hops (or so I heard)!
Special thanks to our family and friends that helped us collect the tin cans, bottles, & old items, and helping put it all together the day of! A BIG thanks to my Mom, Sister, & friend Mink for helping me create all of the decorations & to my tia Diane for also taking some lovely photos throughout the day! We love and appreciate every single one of you guys so doggone much!!
We had a little table that held a cool old record player, a vintage frame that we painted and twined to hold our maternity photos (that were taken by my friend and fellow photog Abbey Lunt).
What's a baby shower without some party favors? We had yummy caramel apples from California Snack Foods, bagged, bowed, n clothes pinned a wallet size family photo for each of our guests to take home!
Inside on the Gift table we had a cool old vintage makeup box that held all of the cards.
For the diaper raffle game we had our guests write their name on a Popsicle stick and place them inside a tin can, instead of filling out raffle tickets.
We hoped our guests had a nice time munching & playing our silly inappropriate games!
Again thank you all so much for all of you who helped us put this all together! We appreciate you all and Little Max Dean is lucky to have such a great group of people who already love him!!
Come back on thursday to see the behind the scenes of these DIY projects!
Meet the Barkers! This is the fun loving family that won my 2012 Family Contest! After shooting their wedding a few months back I knew that this family session was going to be a fun one! This session was especially important to them because its their first family portraits as “official” Barkers! It meant so much to be able to capture this beautiful time of their lives! Working with three males was pretty intimidating because I know how much they LOVE taking photos (can you sense the sarcasm)! But I try my hardest to make it as painless as possible and these boys & parents rocked it out! I had so much fun shooting this good looking familia!!!
The boys tried to tell me that they werent ticklish... so their parents had to prove them wrong! Shoot who they tryin to fool!
Such well behaved boys!
They clearly get it from their parents!!!
They were so thrilled to be able to finally goof off!
The weather couldn’t have been more perfect for a mid November day! We arrived to a bride who was as cool as a cucumber! Jennifer was finishing up the final touches on her bridesmaids bouquets with nothing but smiles on her face. She was more than ready to marry her soul mate! All the beauties were just hanging out getting ready without a worry in the world! I loved it!
Click here to read Jennifer & Steven's Love Story.
Check out her AMAZING wedding gown!!!
UGH! And these shoes are just GAWWGEOUS!!!
You would never guess that her old PROMISE ring is in this bunch! PRISTINE!
One thing that I love & respect about Jennifer is that she is a unique “do it yourselfer”! For her bridal shower she had everyone bring her a brooch and she used them to create her beautiful wedding bouquet! She even has her something old, new, & blue all wrapped up into this work of art!
Jennifer gave each one of her bridesmaids these personalized clutches with a sweet photo of them inside!
Cheers to Love & Happiness!
Jennifer with her mama & soon to be mother n law!
Meanwhile on the other side of town our handsome groom Steven was having a good ol time getting ready with his best buddies!
A nice personalized flask for all his gents!
Steven with his soon to be father n law!
The Ceremony & Reception was at the gorgeous Padua Hills Theatre!
It was so special for Jennifer & Steven to incorporate a little Chinese tea ceremony into their wedding.
And the kiss that sealed the deal!
They had such an awesome wedding party!
I am honored to introduce Mrs. Jennifer Greenspan!!!
Can you say ADORABLE!!!!
This Beautiful Cake was provided by Padua Hills Theatre catering!
Mr & Mrs Greenspan!!!
Whats more romantic than being sprinkled with BUBBLES while your dancing with your love!!!
A touching speech from the father of the bride...
During one of the groomsmen speeches he said that Jen & Steven had been friends for so long that no one ever knew they were even interested in each other. Then one day they arrived to a gathering together hand in hand. Everyone was wondering what the heck was going on and then Steven proudly threw up their connected hands as if he had won a championship game! He was so thrilled to show off that they were officially a couple! He had found his soulmate in his best friend! What else could he ask for! The fact that he was so proud to share the news in front of all his buddies is soooo special!
One of my favorite parts of the night is the father-daughter dance!
Theres nothing more precious than the love between a father & his babygirl!
Special Thanks to my Bride & Groom for allowing me to be a part of your big day!!! It was magical! Hope that your enjoying yourselves on your honeymoon to the Caribbeans BABAYYY!
I was working with such an awesome team for the night! Thanks to my Second Shooter Abbey Lunt and Assistant Diane Carter for having my back for the night!!! Ya’ll Rocked it out! My prego butt couldnt have done it without you both!!!
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.