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One year ago...

One year ago I stopped playing the role of a pawn in the rat race.

One year ago I started writing the rules to my own game.

One year ago I walked out of the "office" for the last time and stopped wasting an hour driving morning and afternoon to a job that I had previously enjoyed but now dreaded to go to every day.  

Now I wake up in the morning, eat breakfast with my kids, drive them to school, tell them I love them before they head off for the day, and then head home again to our in-house office and sit by my best friend and love of my life to work through our day together.

There have been sacrifices.  We spend many evenings and weekends away from the kids while photographing our clients - almost every weeknight and weekend in the late summer/fall.  There've been sacrifices financially.  The budget is super tight - but the investment that we can have in each other, our family and the legacy that we will leave beyond through our kids is so worth it.

Heather and I love what we do.  We each have our roles in our business.  We love our clients and we love taking care of our clients and getting to know them.  Most of all we love laughing, living and working together.  Every.  Day.  One year ago today we made a very difficult and scary (perhaps even dangerous) decision and I don't regret it for a second.

No, that's a lie….I regret not doing it sooner.  

 

Don't let fear hold you back from doing what you know you should do.

 

Kevin Autry - photographer and small business owner

 Photo credit goes out to Jill Lenkowski of  Two Ring Photography   .

Photo credit goes out to Jill Lenkowski of Two Ring Photography.

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Snow Riding {Personal}

Although the day was certainly chilly, the sun was shining beautifully and it was a great day to be outside!  We just recently gained a new hooved resident in our barn and the boys couldn't wait to get to know "Lady".  I'm sure Romeo was glad for come company as well - herd animals just hate to be alone.

While we were meeting in our office with clients, Gabrielle Gow took Elijah and Kaden out for a little ring riding in the pasture.  She grabbed these shots of them as they practiced their cowboy skills.   They loved it and I'm so happy we have little cowboys-in-the-making!

After our client session was over, Gabrielle and I decided to head out on a trail ride together.  Despite bundling up from head to toe we both froze a bit, but it was still a ton of fun.  The icy roads and trails made the evening a bit more challenging, but we're always up for a little excitement!

Darkness came quickly and you know I was on the hunt for the perfect sunset photo-op!  Gabby knows the trails really well and took us up to the top of a big hill off the beaten path for the best angle.  I quickly grabbed this shot from Lady's back and am glad it wasn't blurry or out of whack since she was antsy to keep moving.  :)
~ Heather

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Destination Florida - Eads Wedding / Julie Story

As you may have heard, we recently had the awesome opportunity to travel down to Florida on what we are considering our first destination wedding.  We've had a few Midwest 'destination' weddings that were quite a good distance but still drivable.   Clearwater, Florida may "technically" be drivable, but we chose the easy way out and flew.  LOL

Our connection to this wedding was a fellow photographer who happened to be best friends with the groom and was thus chosen to be the Best Maid.  Her name is Julie Story and we met her through a professional photography message board we are actively a part of, called Showiteers (a networking group associated with the website design program SHOWIT).  Back in late Spring she posted that she was looking for a photographer from our group to be the photographer for Ricky and Leann's wedding when she was unable to photograph because of her wedding responsibilities.  A large number of photographers responded and Julie narrowed down the group to her top 5 favorites.  Ricky and Leann then took those 5, looked at them all independently and came back together with their favorite.  Lucky us - they both chose us first!

We had an amazing time there staying with Julie Story.  She was an absolute riot to hang out with and a branding/marketing/social media genius!  We already knew she was gifted in these areas, but after hanging out with her for a weekend, our own business outlook was inspired, adjusted and re-energized!  If you own your own business it is DEFINITELY worth getting to know her for all aspects of branding and marketing.  Just make sure you tell her that Kevin and Heather sent you!

 

Below is a short, high-speed video we shot of our trip.  We would have loved to have shot more footage while we were in Clearwater, but we got so caught up in the busyness, business and fun of it that we forgot to turn on the GoPro video camera.  Oops!  :)

(Caution - you might need to take some motion-sickness medicine before you watch this)  LOL

Check back in soon for a few teasers from Ricky and Leann's big day! 

~ Kevin & Heather

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Compose and wait

This is a great interview with Sam Abell!  He talks about his year long journey to getting the perfect image to complete his story on Charles Russell.

We, as photographers, need to make sure that we are patient to get the right images and not just snap away grabbing random pictures that have a subject in them.  Sometimes it is just a matter of allowing life to happen and being ready.

Just when I think I'm beginning to 'arrive' (it'll never happen), I see an interview such as this one and am in awe of the passion that great photographers of our time have.  And I realize that the journey of professional photography is not one where we will ever arrive at a final destination, but is on going like the rest of life's lessons.

I realize now that I am very near to the beginning of that journey.

Check out the interview here.

(Tried and tried and just couldn't embed the video.  FAIL!)

 

~Kevin

Courtesy of Chase Jarvis

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Multi-Tasking

For a number of years we have heard how we need to multi-task to make the best use of our time - to get as many things accomplished in one day as possible.  But let me ask this, at the end of a day of unending multi-tasking, do you feel like you've accomplished as much as you possibly could have?  By the time you fully engage in your first activity it's time to switch to the second.  So, you disengage from the first to emmerse yourself into the second only just in time to move on to the third item.  So, you disengage from the second to ... well, you get the picture.

Really!?!...is this how people have always done things?  Not that we're all Einsteins, but do you really think the geniuses that came before us danced around from topic to topic, only to arrive at groundbreaking, revolutionizing ideas?  Now, I know that the majority of us will not come up with something as world changing as the light bulb or the sun being the center of our solar system, but still it's food for thought.

I, to an extreme the last couple of years, have had to be a multi-tasker and now see a huge problem with it.  I just don't get enough completed at the end of the day.  Is it just me?  Sure you make some small steps in many things, but hardly complete any of them.  And, you probably don't do as good a quality of job as you could have if you had emmersed yourself into it and finished one thing before moving on.  I understand that the ability to multi-task is a necessary one for some situations, but having to multi-task and making it a part of everyday life...I just have to say that I don't think it's the most efficient use of time.

What are your thoughts?

~Kevin

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