First client shoot of the new year, something that can be totally nerve racking or something that you can let shape how the year is going to go. I prefer to let it shape a good thing for the new year ahead of us, and that was the mentality we went into this weekends shoot with.
This weekend, we drove up to Tampa to have an engagement shoot with Jacqueline and Aaron at the beautiful and historic University of Tampa campus.
Being Daytona based, and Orlando/Brevard County Frequenters, locations in Tampa were a new thing to us, and this magical old architecture and piece of history made us wish we lived closer, but the couple that showed up to shoot with us was even better.
Full of life, love, and absolute dorkyness this couple was a breeze to work with. Having been together for 6 years, but known each other for much longer, these two knew each other inside and out and it showed in the final product…even if it was windy and cold the entire shoot.
In 2020, I made a personal goal to focus more on the business and try and get us to a place where maybe in the next 3-5 years I could go full time with the business and not have to juggle what is essentially two full time jobs at points in the year.
So this year is a year of firsts for us. We did our first wedding expo, we started the year off with our first (true) destination wedding, and now in the month of January we add on not only new clients, but our ( and by our, I mean my) first Styled Shoot.
I’ve always been one to believe that nothing is more genuine or a bigger portfolio builder than actual weddings or engagement shoots, and I still believe that, however, I had some new gear I wanted to play with and felt that there couldn’t have been a better opportunity to do so.
On the plus side, I also got to meet some other really awesome photographers and models that are here locally. I got to see how other people handle their couples and detail work, plus had a bit more control over the situation than I would on a typical wedding day.
Just like the Expo, I believe that Styled Shoots are something that I will and have already planned to participate in again. As we get deeper into the wedding world, we’re finding that the more vendors and venues you can connect with the better.
Check below for some of the work from the Citrus Themed Styled Shoot:
So last weekend Josh and I participated in Just a Girl’s first ever Wedding Expo. I say Just a Girl’s because apparently my amazing other half use to do them with his dad as a kid. Very different type of show than wedding shows, but more experience than I’d ever had with it.
We, of course, in typical Josh and Kylee fashion waited until the last minute to finish our display and had never tried to fit everything in the car until the night before. Luckily almost everything fit,and the next morning we were our way to Innisbrook Resort in Tampa where the expo was being held.
After a hectic morning we finally got everything set up, what I didn’t know however was that the candy and our display would be the mossy popular thing about us all day 😂
We were all set up and ready to go for Florida Wedding Expo by Your Wedding TVs doors were about to open. I was super nervous and Josh was well…Josh, cool as a cucumber we always.
The crowds were flowing and there were tons of eager brides, grooms, friends, and family. The chocolate in both the swag bags and on our table helped us stand out. Brides were filling out our contact cards pretty consistently for a majority of the show and we had some awesome conversations with potential clients.
All in all in 4 hours of talking to brides, about a grand in expenses to get us ready for the first show, 2 engagement shoots, and what hopefully will turn into an awesome season of weddings in the next couple of weeks, I would have to say from the perspective of connecting with potential brides and other vendors alone, that this expo was worth it.
I think for all new photography business out there especially those in the wedding industry, looking into an expo type event whether it be the same one we did or some other event, is definitely worth it. It’ll help you connect with all sorts of people.
At the end of the day, if someone asked me would you do this expo again my answer would be absolutely yes. Even if we don’t get any bookings off of it this time. The learning curve from the first show was steep and I’m excited to keep learning and connecting.
Back around Thanksgiving, I wrote a small blurb about the logo and what it means to me, but I thought for this weeks blog, I’d dig a little deeper into that.
Way back, before I even met Josh, I had this dream of starting a photography business. Something completely outside of my realm as a degreed engineer, but a passion I’d had since my days in high school.
Photography was always preached in my family as nothing more than a hobby. Something that could never sustain me like a good STEM degree could. Which is why, despite my love, and from what I’ve been told natural talent for it, it wasn’t something I continued to pursue.
That was until, I had hit rock bottom and coming back behind the camera saved me. I wasn’t sure I wanted to go back to engineering after the way it treated me coming out of college, but I knew I had a few other passions left to explore.
Queue the research into what it would take to start a business and what I needed to start doing in order to get somewhere with it. I was completely lost, and to be honest probably in over my head, but I already had a name for my business.
Just a Girl
This came out of my time in rock bottom where I felt completely lost and out of control. Barely 21, a year out of college, jobless, and feeling like I was nothing more than just a girl, I wasn’t special, or at least I didn’t feel like I was. I was Just a Girl, just a girl trying to make it day to day, just a girl trying to navigate her first stab at adulthood, just a girl who didn’t know how to be on her own, and Just a Girl with a hell of a lot of fight left for a dream that seemed impossible.
But I needed to find a logo to go with it. I didn’t want something everybody else had, I didn’t want cursive lettering, or flowers, or a rustic look that was popular at the time. I wanted something with just as much story as my name had.
Thats when it came to me, sitting at my desk with my feet up, I looked at my ankle. It was perfect, how could I have missed it.
I had a bow tattooed on my ankle, a bow that represents the biggest fight, the stubbornness that runs through my veins, the uphill battle with terrible statistics, a bow that represented defying the odds. A bow that represented probably the strongest, most stubborn, fighter I know. It represents my cousin, Ashlynn.
Ashlynn was diagnosed with a rare disorder from birth, we as the family were told she’d always be a vegetable, that she’d never make it past certain stages in her life, that she’d never be able to hold her head up, let alone walk. Nonetheless, she continued to fight. We continued to fight as a family, when she couldn’t fight for herself. And Now?
Ashylnn is 16, was the flower girl in the last wedding we shot, where she with some assistance from some family walked down the isle. She has outlived every expectancy, and out performed every metric we’ve ever been given. This supposed vegetable, has the biggest personality of us all, and 100% has the Goodliffe stubbornness coursing through her veins.
When I want to quit, when I want to rely on my degree and the cushion it provides me, I remember what this company name and logo stands for. The bow was created to represent the fight in a little girl whose sheer will power beats us all. The bow was created to represent the family mantra “Strength to Start, Courage to Finish” in my own way. The bow was meant as a daily reminder, that I’m related to living proof of defying the odds, if she could do it I can to.
The bow also remind me, that I’m not Just a Girl anymore, but I was. My attachment to this story is why we’ve never changed the name, even though Josh and I shoot together now. I was Just a Girl, now I’m Just a Girl, who Found the Love of her Life. With him, I’ve found my strength to do anything no matter how impossible the odds may seem.
I’m Just a Girl with her Bow and her Bo, ready to take on the crazy world of Wedding Photography one wedding at a time.
Destination Weddings, to ultimate blessing and a curse. Traveling with lights, and lens, and cameras, is not an easy task by any means, but nothing about this past wedding really was. Being both a photographer and a part of the wedding party, my second shooter aka my husband, also being in the wedding party, and oh yeah! Did I mention it was my slightly controlling slightly crazy, and just the slightest bit bossy mom’s wedding?
It was a bit different, I’m not going to lie, but how could I turn down the chance at a destination wedding in Jamaica? I definitely couldn’t. Even if I only have half a weddings worth of photos 🙂
Spring Weddings in a state where seaons actually exists may be full of flowers and pastel colors, but here in Florida they’re full of blue skies, temperatures that won’t kill you (hopefully), and green country grass, or at least when your wedding is in March, and on a ranch!
The day started with some detail work, and a little bit of rehearsal before everyone went their own way to start getting ready. Obloy Family Ranch is an amazing location for those country brides and grooms looking for a real ranch experience. With rescued and baby animals all over for guests to go see after arrival, this ranch is fun for all ages.
Now on to what you really came to see….the photos.
Ceremony + Formals
This group of people, this wedding, and this night was by far one of our favorites. The leaping point for our career here in the central Florida. We will forever be thankful to this Bride and Groom and their families for allowing us to be a part of this amazing day.
Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. Probably one of the only traditions I myself followed (unintentionally) at my wedding. Every American bride knows there is a certain amount of tradition worked into your wedding from the moment you start planning it, even before you have colors, you have parts of your day planned just based off of what came before you. That is…if you chose to follow them. I’ve worked with traditional brides and I’ve worked with extremely unconventional brides, yet they’ve all worked in at least one the classic wedding traditions everyone knows. With that introduction out of the way its time from another….
Now, I’m going to limit this opinion to just the American wedding traditions, religious or cultural traditions to me are in a completely separate category. The traditions I’m going to discuss here with my opinion are:
-The somethings (old, borrowed, blue, etc)
-Not seeing the Bride the day of the wedding
-Not seeing the Dress Before the Wedding
Now, seeing as I’m a sucker for emotion and tradition (I got married on my deceased uncles birthday and took his motorcycle jacket with me to wear for photos), this is going to be a complete 180 for me as far as my opinion.
I think that Wedding Traditions are completely outdated and unnecessary. At least the standard ones.
Did I wear a garter at my wedding? Yes, but I did it for myself, because it matched my sash, and because I fully planned on doing a trash the dress photo with the garter but never got around to it. I didn’t do it because some tradition dictated it, and I sure as hell didn’t do it to make my photographer suffer through the awkwardness that is photographing a groom removing a garter from under his Brides dress. I’ve had brides do the bouquet toss, but not the garter, I’ve had brides/grooms do both, and I’ve had brides do none of the above. Really, I think the whole idea of the garter/bouquet toss is pointless. No one wants to be the singled out single at a wedding. If your a man planning to make a proposal happen at someone else’s wedding during the bouquet toss, JUST DON’T.
Now, that was a lot of hatred for only one of the normal traditions, on to the next one. The Somethings…this one is a tradition that I feel a little less strong about. I think pieces of the something tradition are actually kind of sweet (see previous comment about my something borrowed at my wedding), but I don’t think it is something any bride should stress over. If you only have something borrowed and something new, than you only have borrowed and new. There shouldn’t be an entire task dedicated to your maid of honor finding all these items for you.
The cake smash is one that I’ve seen time and time again back fire on grooms. Brides constantly screaming “NO” throughout the wedding to their grooms suggesting that cake will end up on and all over their faces at some point during the night, and Grooms just not listening. Inevitably, cake gets everywhere, including the dress and you end the night with a pretty upset bride…especially if the cake was chocolate.
I guess what I’m trying to say in all this ranting is….Make your own traditions or throw out traditions all together. Just like families all have their own traditions for the holidays, even if that tradition is having no traditions at all, every couple should make their wedding day about them. If you want to smash cake in each others faces, then it should be a mutual decision. If you want to have a first look instead of leaving the moment to the altar, make sure your photographer is there to capture it. If you want to forgo anything resembling traditions, than do it, just be aware that you may get some heat from your family members for it.