Lindsay and Elliott: Engaged!

Lindsay and Elliott are a case of how opposites attract, yet these two are an absolute perfect match! She's more creative, he's more technical, and together they are a dream team! I love photographing engagement sessions, because it gives me time to really get to know a couple and let me tell you - these two have impeccable taste! We agree on everything from restaurants to the importance of buying good denim - yes, I think we are meant to be friends!

Lindsay and Elliott have been together for 7 years and this is really only the beginning of their love story!

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Congratulations on your engagement! Thank you SO much for letting me be a part of it!

LOVEe

Meet the Team // Jacob: Assistant

Blog readers, it is my extreme pleasure to introduce you to one of our super-star-assistants, Jacob!Jacob is one of the newer additions to our team in the past year and I am SO happy he is a part of our crew! He is one of those people who is solid. He always has your back, and as an assistant, he is always one step ahead of me. Jacob is the person who is keeping track of the gear, has the lights ready when I need them and makes sure that we have everything on-hand at the perfect time! He has also been so much fun to watch grow! He pushes the limits, brings along fun film cameras and I have really seen a giant improvement in his work! Jacob, we absolutely adore you and you are such a huge part of our crew, thank you so much for all of your hard work and everything you bring to our team! Q. What is your role in the Photogen Inc. Crew?

Assistant Extraordinaire.

Q. How did you begin working for Photogen Inc?

Initially everything spurred from an e-mail I sent to Eliesa.  I was on an airplane at the time, and they had free wi-fi on the flight, which was pretty amazing, and I was inspired to send out epic emails.

Q. What does it mean to be an assistant?

It depends on which photographer you're working for.  For each one, being an assistant means something different.  Sometimes your responsibility is just setting up the tripod after the ceremony and taking a few photos here and there.  On the other end, it's shooting the majority of a wedding because your boss is the maid of honor ;)

Q. How has being a part of this crew helped you as an artist?

It has really helped me stay inspired.  I look at my cohort's work on a pretty consistent basis to see what they've been shooting, how their style is evolving and what their subject matter is.

Q. What is your favorite part about shooting?

Oh man.  Everything.  I think my favorite part is the relationship with the subject.  Connecting with people and taking their photo can be a pretty deep experience.  I kind of over analyze though.

Q. What else do you love in life, besides photography?

Music has been a passion of mine for a long time.  I've been going to shows constantly since I had my driver's permit, and traveled across the country just to see my favorite musicians play.  I really like to read business books.  Television and movies are something that really get me going.  Someday I'd love to experiment with video projects.  I love really dry humor.  Another important aspect of my life is my faith. Love me some Jesus.  Also, Chipotle.  These are in no particular order. Q. How did you start out being a photographer?

In high school I thought it was absolutely ridiculous that people wanted to be photographers, as a profession.  Those were my friends who would just take photos of flowers and post them on their Myspace photography page.  I'm aging myself here. Anyway, I was working at Circuit City and Nikon had a really awesome ad for the D40 they were just releasing and on a whim I purchased one.  From there I started shooting some of the shows I went to.  Then I moved to Milwaukee to pursue a career in photo assisting, hung out there for a year & worked my butt off, and a year later I came back to Minnesota.  Now I work with Eliesa at Photogen-inc and intern at a commercial photography studio.

Q. What do you think you bring to this team?

I'd say the most tangible thing I bring to the table is the willingness to learn.  I'm always up for experimenting and learning new things.

Q. What are you looking forward to the most for the 2011 season? Honing my skill set is definitely my goal for this season.  I want to take photographs that will help the couple at hand re-live their wedding day and make others stop and say "holy crap."

Mr. and Mrs. Stewart!

At Ashley and Justin's reception, the father-of-the-bride was giving a speech and he said some simple words that completely sum up this couple for me. He said, "You know, Justin, you are exactly everything that Ashley has ever wanted in a man and Ashley, you have found everything you were looking for." Those words might seem like a no-brainer to some, when it comes to getting married, but that is truly what this is all about, and why I photograph weddings. It is such a true pleasure to document the moment that a couple decides to become husband-and-wife. And it is an even more amazing opportunity to be able to capture a time in a couple's life where they have truly found each other. Cheezy, I know, but it's the honest truth! Ashley and Justin have such a passion for one another, but it's clear that their family and friends are their biggest fans. I decided to focus a little more on the portraits for this post, rather than their details, because to me, it was absolutely the people in that room that made their day as beautiful as it was!

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Congratulations to Ashley & Justin on getting hitched!

LOVEe

ELEVATE Workshop // October 10 - 13, 2011!!

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IT'S HERE!!!!!!!!!!!

After much anticipation, I am SO excited to announce the next ELEVATE Workshop! Our first event was a smashing success and this time we have new guest speakers and a new location...that's right, we're bringing it back to the MIDWEST!

Dates: October 10-13th, 2011 Location: Juliane James Place, Finlayson, MN Speakers: Eliesa Johnson of Photogen Inc, Collin Hughes, Daniel Chin and Capture Studios

CHECK OUT THE ELEVATE WORKSHOP WEBSITE!!

In the great up north...

We are going to have bonfires.

We are going to open up our minds.

We are going to eat hot dish!

We are going to go on a hike.

We are going to critique.

We are going to meet new friends.

We are going to see old friends.

We are going to sweat the small stuff.

We are going to take pictures.

We are going to have amazing conversation.

We are going to collaborate.

We are going to have SO much fun.

We are going to grow.

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Photogen Inc. Featured on Luxe Mountain Weddings by Colorado Weddings Magazine!

Colorado has always been inspiring to me! The fresh air, the mountains, the people and the lifestyle - it's just all so fantastic! Last season, I had the pleasure of photographing Sheri & David's wedding in Aspen, Colorado and I fell in love with that state even more! It was double-the-fun, because my friend Ajit was able to shoot with me on this wedding and it's a treat for us to see each other! Apparently we weren't the only ones who fell in love with the images from this wedding! Luxe Mountain Weddings, which is a division of Colorado Weddings Magazine, blogged all about Sheri, David and their amazing day!

Check out the full post here!

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Cheers to inspiring locations!

LOVEe

LOVEe Consults: Heidi Lynn Photography!

Yesterday, I had the privilege of meeting Heidi and we spent the day together for her LOVEe Consult! Heidi is a super fun woman who wears many hats (wife, mom, photographer, friend...the list goes on!), yet she is a person who is passionate and purposeful in everything she does!

During our time together, we talked about many things from life and love to business and art, but I realized that we are both super passionate about creating honest imagery. Now, I know you have heard me talk about this a lot already - it all started during my talks at ELEVATE, but I really, truly believe that getting back to lifestyle imagery with raw emotion, feeling and energy is where our industry is headed - and what our clients are craving.

The wedding photography industry goes through trends and phases and then you have the classics whose work is so beautiful that years later, the industry is still talking about it. When it comes to being an artist, we have choices. It's super easy to look at other's work and reproduce is, basically spot on. From styling to processing, you can see that it's HOT and you can make it happen! It's a more difficult route to find your own personal style and quietly bring that to the table. This takes a lot of soul-searching and utter practice of our craft, but without a doubt, greatness happens and that is so much more rewarding, knowing that you have found your space, your pace, your groove and your style as an artist - it's simply beautiful!

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Heidi - Congratulations for taking the leap and putting in the time to learn about yourself, your work and your potential! You are a beautiful woman and an amazing artist who is going to really come to life - you're ready...and you know what I mean!

If you're a photographer  interested in doing a LOVEe Consult, we are now booking!! Check out the website or e-mail me at: eliesa@photogen-inc.com

LOVEe

Meet the Team // Ryan: Assistant

World, meet Ryan! Ryan is one of our assistants and might also be known as the 'dark child'. (Can you tell by his self portrait?) However, for all of us who truly know him, he is a giant softy. We absolutely love Ryan for his sarcastic sense of humor, witty remarks and ironing skills - seriously, I can't tell you how many groomsman clothes he has ironed before a wedding!As a photographer, Ryan is a quiet surprise. He has the ability to hone in on a moment and absolutely nail it. These are always images that are print-competition-worthy and make me so proud to see him produce! Ryan - we love you and you are a giant part of this team! If you all see him on the streets, just don't talk about politics or religion - you'll be there for hours!

Q. What is your role in the Photogen Inc. Crew?To give aid and support to the lead Photographer.

Q. How did you begin working for Photogen Inc?

I stumbled in very early on when Photogen was a fledgling company and a pulse was just as important as skill. I had absolutely no experience shooting in a formal environment and all I had shot with was Canon Rebel XTI so I had to borrow a camera.

Q. What does it mean to be an assistant?

I do the things that need to be done throughout the day that the lead doesn't have the time to do. Mostly though, I am another perspective. I have more freedom to shoot the things that may otherwise go unnoticed.

Q. How has being a part of this crew helped you as an artist?

By being part of the crew I have become more competent with the tools we use. It's one thing to read about all the cool gadgets but getting to play with them everyday is much more interesting.

Q. What is your favorite part about shooting?

My favorite part about shooting is the camera can occasionally  be a pass to get you into places that are otherwise off limits. I have always been intrigued by those places marked "Employees Only" or "Authorized Personnel Only".  People tend to think you are permitted to be there when you have a giant camera and an even larger lens.  Those tucked away spaces typically have a much more interesting aesthetic.

Q. What else do you love in life, besides photography?

I have a four year old that could run circles around most kids her age. Foreign and domestic policy discussions. Books so big they exist in their own gravity well. A fine IPA. Cheese. Cereal. Dr. Who. And the fact that GRRM finished the damn book!

Q. How did you start out being a photographer?

I started out by taking a class in collage and discovering I really enjoyed it. And then I had a kid and all new parents fancy themselves photographers.

Q. What do you think you bring to this team?

I bring a love and appreciation to the art as well as a wicked impression of Brian Johnson of AC/DC Fame.

Q. What are you looking forward to the most for the 2011 season?

I look forward to seeing everyone's work and learning from it.

Safa and Shakir: Married!

I love culture, especially when it comes to a wedding. There are simply SO many ceremonial traditions when it comes to a marriage and I love to experience them along with our clients. Safa and Shakir came to me and booked on the spot (LOVE when that happens, by the way!) Clearly, they were the perfect clients for me and as the began to describe their big day, I fell more in love. This is a couple that values their culture, tradition and family way before any of the fluff. Safa's family is from Egypt and Shakir's family is from Pakistan, so their legal marriage took place in a private family ceremony, several weeks ago. Photographing their reception is where I come in; however, there were still some key rituals that took place. My favorite part of the day was the Zaffa, or wedding march. This is very typical in all Arabic cultures and it is a PARTY! The colors, sights, sounds and energy are unlike anything else - there's loud music, chanting, clapping, dancing, and it ultimately embraces the true celebration of the marriage!

Safa and Shakir chose the Calhoun Beach Club for their reception site and everything came out absolutely beautifully! The women looked absolutely stunning with help from Safa's sister, Marwa, who's a makeup-guru and Julie of Smart & Chic Bride did a lovely job on all the hair (Side note - they just won best-of-makeup for Minnesota Bride - congrats ladies!)

The bottom line is that Safa and Shakir's day was filled with tons of tradition, beauty and celebration that was SO much fun to be a part of!

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Congratulations to Safa & Shakir on your big day!

LOVEe

Photogen Inc. Featured on Grace Ormonde!

A little over a year ago, I photographed a wedding in Santiago De Compostela, Spain. It was pure magic. From the couple to the setting to the culture, I realized that I was totally and completely in my element and I was meant to photograph weddings of this caliber! (You can view Part 1 and Part 2 of their blog post here!) A HUGE goal/dream of mine is to be published in Grace Ormonde magazine and I simply felt it in my bones that Tara and Jorge's wedding just might have what it took to get in their publication! Well, I didn't make it to print, but their wedding DID receive an OH-SO-FABULOUS feature on their blog!! The magazine did a fantastic job interviewing the couple and put up a stellar slideshow of images from their day! I am honestly so, so, so honored to be featured by them, in whatever way that may be! CHECK IT OUT!!!Screen shot 2011-07-13 at 9.52.41 AM.jpg Screen shot 2011-07-13 at 9.53.06 AM.jpg

Dream Big!

LOVEe

Alyson & Jesse: Engaged!

Alyson and Jesse's engagement session is very special to me. I absolutely fell in love with this couple the very first time I met them and they are also my first same-sex couple. Alyson and Jesse met several years ago in NYC and have traveled across the country together, eventually landing in Minneapolis to be closer to family. These women are true visionaries and after becoming engaged, they realized a few things about themselves:

  1. They are DIY to the extreme
  2. They absolutely love collaborating with other artists
  3. They love to throw a good party!

So, after coming to these conclusions, it became very clear while searching for a wedding venue that they should simply create their own!!!! (HOW FREAKING AMAZING IS THAT?!?!?) For the past year, Alyson and Jesse have literally put hours and hours of work into developing land in Northern Minnesota for their wedding, which will also be the home of Juliane James Place! I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to see this venue come to life and it's bound to be a BIG hit in the Minnesota / Destination wedding market!

For their engagement session, we traveled up to Juliane James Place to photograph the two brides-to-be! Alyson and Jesse called in the finest-of-florists, Jackie of Munster Rose to put together some amazing details and I absolutely love how much fun these women had with their shoot! They brought together this whole new world of a beautiful fantasy land, and the images are just gorgeous!

Credits// Location: Juliane James Place Styling / Floral: Munster Rose Alyson's Dress: BCBHMAXAZRIA Jesse's Dress: Clockwork Couture Antiques and Decor: Giese B&B and Antique Store Shoes: Vintage

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Alyson and Jesse's wedding is only a couple of weeks away and I just CAN'T WAIT! Their wedding is going to be packed with an all-star-list of wedding vendors from the Minneapolis area, so it is going to be a GREAT day of fun and collaboration!

LOVEe

Mr. and Mrs. Christman!

This past weekend's wedding had a lot of meaning to me, personally, and put me in a place that I have never ever been in before...the Maid of Honor! Yes, that's right, I was juggling double-duties...shooting, wearing the dress, giving the speech, yadda yadda - and, if I must say so myself, I did a pretty damn good job (with the help of my amazing crew of course!) However, this blog post is not about me at all, it is all about my childhood-best-friend, Amber and her awesome husband, Joe!

When Amber and Joe started planning their wedding, they wanted to somehow merge their love for triathlons, cycling...and Lance Armstrong. Seriously, they might borderline on winning Lance's 'Biggest Fans Ever' award. When you walk into their home, there are posters of him, books, inspirational quotes, jerseys, you-name-it-they-have-it. So, it was more than fitting when they settled on a theme for their wedding day - LIVESTRONG.

Now, something happened on their wedding day, that I thought was just so cool. Amber was at her parent's house and Joe and I got up early for the festivities and, of course, Joe knew that it was the first day of the 2011 Tour de France. As we clicked on the good old T.V., the first words that flashed across the screen were 'The Journey Begins' and the announcers began to talk about how there has to truly be a perfect marriage between all the cyclists on a team to win the Tour. They went on and on...and all I could think about was how incredibly fitting those words were on the morning of Amber and Joe's wedding!

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At the end of the day, a great man married my best friend and there is not a detail, dress or frilly cake detail that could top that! Joe and Amber - I am truly happy for the both of you - Congratulations and thank you so much for letting me be a part of it!

LOVEe

Life, Business and Montour

For the first summer in years, I feel like I've been able to have a life! This is thanks to my crew, especially our studio manager Liz, and finding our groove as a team! I've also really embraced the taking-time-for-your-actual-life concept and have finally done things this summer that I've always wanted to experience, like Rock the Garden and Pride, but I'm always too busy. However, one of THE highlights of the summer has been having one of my best-friends-ever in town for an entire MONTH! Yes, Miss Sara Montour has graced us with her presence and we have simply had SO much fun!I am so grateful to have this girl in my life - she balances me out, makes me laugh harder than anyone else, and even watches The Bachelorette with me (guilty pleasure, yes!) Sara lives in Tacoma, WA now, so having her here is a special treat - and again, a welcome reminder to how important it is to really focus on our lives, just as much as our businesses sometimes.

Can I get a high-five and a hell yeah?

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LOVEe

Mr. and Mrs. Resch!

Allison and Jason's wedding gave me goosebumps! The way that these two simply look at each other makes you fall in love with them and their energy is contagious! Allison is a clothing designer for Target, so when it came to planning her wedding, she had inspiration boards galore with visions of her perfect day. It was AMAZING to see all of her ideas take shape and become a reality - and I can honestly say that absolutely everything was perfect! The day started out at the Hotel Ivy and we made or way to the Basilica for the ceremony! Their reception took place at the Calhoun Beach Club and I can't even begin to tell you how gorgeous the decor was in there! Major props to Just Bloomed for putting together the amazing bouquets and to Allison's step mother for creating all the gorgeous floral arrangements for their reception - simply stunning! I should also thank Kirsten from Fab.You.Lous Events for making sure their day ran super smoothly - this girl did one fabulous job! I can't show too many images from their wedding yet, and for good reason (hint, hint), but here are some of my favorite frames from Allison and Jason's wedding!

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A BIG congratulations to Allison and Jason on getting hitched!! You both ROCK!

LOVEe

Meet the Team // Louisa: Rivets & Roses Photographer

This week's crew member for our 'Meet the Team' feature is our one and only, Louisa Podlich! Louisa is our lead photographer for our sister company, Rivets and Roses! She has been an incredible addition to our team and I am beyond impressed with this girl's talent, work ethic and true passion for creating amazing imagery! Louisa is an artist whose work grows exponentially and she truly cares so much about her clients and her craft!

To check out more work from Louisa, follow her on Twitter & Facebook!

 

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Q. What is your role in the Photogen Inc. Crew & Rivets and Roses?

I started working with the Photogen Inc crew last summer as the new lead photographer for Rivets and Roses. This means that I get to work with all the amazing Photogen Inc. people when I shoot weddings and when I help Eliesa out on her big, awesome test shoots. I am in charge of finding my clients, meeting with them and booking them, as well as shooting the weddings and engagement sessions. It's the perfect blend of independence and team support.

Q. How did you begin working for Rivets and Roses?

I met Eliesa several years ago through mutual friends of ours. We've run into each other here and there for the past 3-4 years and last summer, I decided to go to one of her MINNeSHOP workshops. I was so inspired by the incredible artists that I met that I think I sent a rather flowery thank you note to the Photogen Inc. studio. A few weeks later, Eliesa called me up and we met for a cup of coffee. She explained how Rivets and Roses worked; it's basically an umbrella company for new photographers who want to get into the wedding industry, but don't have the start-up funds. Eliesa supports her photographers by providing a website, equipment, assistants, etc. and the photographers who work under the umbrella can build a client base while still being supported by a more experienced and seasoned professional studio. I jumped at the chance to get in the field and have Eliesa as a mentor.

Q. What does it mean to be a lead photographer and growing into that roll from an assistant?

I haven't done much assisting yet, although it's a great experience. I like watching my peers work and I appreciate opportunities to assist, because it gives me a fresh look at how to go about the day. There is also something very liberating about shooting for 8 hours and then just handing the files over and not having to think about them anymore! I prefer being a lead photographer, though, because my favorite part of the wedding day is spending time with the couple. Being a lead photographer means there is a lot of work and planning that you have to do before the wedding day and a TON of editing and follow-up after the wedding day, so it's a serious amount of time and energy. Ultimately, I have to rely on myself to make sure my clients are happy and relaxed, that they are getting what they want and that my shots are going to exceed their expectations. More responsibility than assisting, but WAY more rewarding.

Q. How has being a part of this crew helped you as an artist?

I think that my technical skills have gotten exponentially better. After shooting my first wedding, I sat down with Eliesa and she helped me work though how I could make better exposures, better composition, better everything. Having a good eye for emotion and feeling only goes so far, if you don't know how your camera works. Beyond the technical, being around Eliesa, Liz, Jess and the other photographers I've met has made me think about how I see the world and why people should care about my point of view. It's made me think about how to best use color, contrast, shape, etc. If I had not taken the job at Rivets and Roses, I think I would still be back at square one.

Q. What is your favorite part about shooting?

My favorite part about shooting is when I get a frame that make me want to do a little dance. Sometimes everything comes together just so  and the image is perfect. It's a blend of expression, light color and composition, as well as that instant where I am totally in synch with my clients.

Q. What else do you love in life, besides photography?

I love thunderstorms, my kittens, sitting on my front porch, growing things, crocheting, the amazing people in my life, noticing tiny and beautiful things when I go for walks, getting foot rubs, being near the water, boats, glass bottles, the ocean, steak (medium rare), candy, jeans that fit just right, jewelry, talent, old houses, driftwood, Bon Iver...want me to keep going?

Q. How did you start being a photographer?

I was dating a videographer several years ago and he convinced me to buy a DLSR. Once I started snapping away, I couldn't stop. My first year produced some pretty terrible images, but luckily that didn't slow me down (plus, at the time, I think I thought they were pretty good.) I have a lot of background in the sales field and I've been able to use that training to be shameless when it comes to self-promotion. My friends probably think I'm a broken record, because I talk about shooting all the time, but it's paid off! If you don't ask people to hire you, no one will.

Q. What do you think you bring to this team?

I bring a good attitude to the team, along with a solid work ethic. I feel lucky to work with Eliesa and her crew, and through listening to her critique and advice, I believe I've become a better photographer. Also, I am reliable and punctual; two things that are essential to being a professional in this field.

Q. What are you looking forward to the most for the 2011 season and beyond?

Once I get more comfortable with all the changing light situations that you get in a wedding, I will improve tenfold. I'm looking forward to the technical aspect of photography to come as easily for me as the client communication. I am excited to meet more new people and make friends in the industry and I hope I can make it to Eliesa's next Elevate Workshop!!!

 

Betsy and Josh: Engaged!

Betsy and Josh met nine years ago, at a beach, where...you guessed it...they were both lifeguards! Yes, a summer job, mixed with a little sunshine, fun and flirting turned into a lifelong love affair for these two! They still, very much so, have a glow that comes out when they are around each other, which is so fabulous to see!

For their engagements, we went back to the place of the proposal...Lake Harriet!

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Congratulations to Betsy and Josh on their engagement! They're getting married at a super-cool-backyard-bash that is sure to be just as fun as they are!

LOVEe

Mr. and Mrs. O'Neill!

I've known Christian and Jim for a long time now and they are one of the coolest couples I have ever met! Jim is an incredible musician with a bit of a jazzy flare to him and Christian is a super-driven woman who just radiates beauty! She was the bride of all brides on her wedding day. Absolutely every detail of her was classic and traditional in a lovely way that was the absolute perfect look for her. Together as a couple, Jim and Christian are timeless. I've seen their relationship grow over the past few years and I was so happy that I could be a part of their event!My favorite part about this wedding was clearly, how many amazing people they have in their lives. Every single one of their 'vendors', if you will, are close and personal friends of theirs and it made for one amazing set of collaboration! Zook Floral Design created all the gorgeous floral arrangements and the local group Jelloslavedid an amazing job with the music! Of course, Jim himself put on a little performance for everyone that was just so much fun!
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To Jim and Christian, thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to capture this time in your lives! You two are absolutely amazing!LOVEe

Engage 2011 // Grand del Mar

Last week, I flew to San Diego to attend Engage11! Engage is a 'luxury business summit' for wedding professionals in the luxe wedding market...but I'd rather refer to it as the 'best networking/hangout experience' I've ever had when it comes to investing in my personal continuing education. Engage has absolutely everything to do with its name. The sole purpose of this conference is to build solid, lasting relationships with vendors all around the world. This is my second time attending Engage, and it was really, really cool to see just how amazing the connections I made at the last conference have grown into some truly awesome relationships!

The event is put on by two amazing women, Kathryn and Rebecca. Their vision was to bring together the best-of-the-best and give us all an experience to inspire, connect and collaborate, to simply make our industry the absolute best it can possibly be! They have raised the bar in SO many ways, and the most impressive part about our weeks at Engage is all in the details. Absolutely every little thing has so much thought put into it, for instance, while planning out our coffee break, they didn't just put out a pot of coffee, instead they took-it-to-another-level and created an entire array of coffee-flavored-treats and goodies to keep us going! You see, Engage is all about the experience and this week is all about learning HOW to better serve our clients, vendors and potential clients to give them THE ultimate experience. I didn't take out my camera all week, simply because I wanted to soak it all in. All of the speakers, all the gorgeous details, food and drink - I wanted to taste, listen, learn and meet absolutely everything I could from this amazing group of people who I was surrounded by! And, thanks to the AMAZING crew of Mel Barlow & Co, I have these stellar images to show you!

There is just so much I would love to share with you all, but I feel like 6 different blog posts might be too much (and if you follow my twitter feed, you are probably already sick of hearing about this, but too bad :0) It's just to000 good! ) So, here are some of my favorite little tidbits:

"This fittin' in is some bullshit" - Diann Valentine

"When your work is being emulated, you need to move your business forward, and you must be open to changing your business often" - Todd Fiscus

"Excellence is not optional" - Cindy Novotny

"Develop relationships with key people who will make things happen for you, not just the popular kids" - Cindy Novotny

"If you're shopping against price, I'm expensive" - Marcy Blum

"$106,000 is the average budget for a luxe wedding" - Carly Roney

"Details are not going away" - Mindy Weiss

" Love deeper, Dream bigger" - Monique Lhuillier " Success depends on perseverance and the relationships we build" - Michelle Rago

" Fail Forward" -Simon T. Baily

"If you are going to be relevant in the future, who are you going to partner with?" - Simon T. Baily

"Success is an attitude. Get yours right. It is astonishing how short a time it takes for very wonderful things to happen." - David Beahm

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Again, a HUGE thank you to Mel, Judith and Allan for taking all the amazing photos above! You all worked your asses off this week, so I wouldn't have to and I SO appreciate it! To all the lovely & talented friends I saw and new friends I met, it was so great to experience this all with you! We ate, we drank, we laughed, we learned, we talked, we danced and as cheesy as it may sound...we engaged! :0)

LOVEe

Safa & Shakir: Engaged!

Safa and Shakir have a great love story! They knew each other for years and years, but it wasn't until many years later that they re-connected and officially fell in love. I'm a big believer in timing and I find it incredibly romantic that these two knew each other for SO long, but there was a certain time and a perfect place where their feelings would foster and grow into a genuine kind of love.
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Congratulations to Safa and Shakir on their engagement!!! I am so happy for you two and can't WAIT until the big celebration!

LOVEe