What Worked Best in 2018 + a BONUS!

What Worked Best in 2018 + a BONUS!

I’m sharing the things I did differently in 2018, how they made a HUGE impact on my biz + workflow, and why YOU should implement them in 2019!

Behind the Scenes with Lena: 2018

 
 

2018 WAS AN EPIC YEAR…

There was laughing, happy tears, hilarious speeches, rainy days, hot days, CAKE, boutonnieres pinned, trains bustled, dancing floor grinding, sore feet, Dunkin Donuts fueled road trips, early mornings, late nights, and HUNDREDS of sneak peeks.

I took 78,338 photographs and edited + delivered over 31,000.


Thirty. One. Thousand.

I worked my buns off, so you better believe it was a kickass year. Got my own health insurance. Took a bajillion selfies. Made pasta in Italy. Shot 22 weddings both big and small. Got published in 11 different magazines and blogs. Traveled to 18 cities. Drank over 300 bubble teas.

Ok but where is Lena pulling these random numbers from?

SURPRISE, I have been keeping track ALL FREAKIN YEAR for the sole purpose of blogging about it.

B R B pouring myself a drink....

HIGHLIGHT REEL:

  • Nicole & Mike's nightclub-worthy dance floor (and the hot mulled cider)

  • First trip to Long Island for Bevin & Steve! And seeing past LM brides there too

  • Loving on so many LM brides in one room at Haleigh & Adam’s wedding

  • Bringing tupperware to bring home goodies from Juliet & Evan’s epic dessert table

  • Jess & Ilhan’s wildly talented belly dancer

  • The unforgettable food at Hillary & Phil’s backyard wedding

  • Jackie screaming “If I die, just know that I love you!” to Reuven during the horah dance

  • Shooting in a downpour / thunder and lightning storm at a tiny backyard wedding

  • Having all access to a night at the museum (the ICA!) with Erin & Jack

  • Dancing to Pitbull with glow sticks with Cass & Chris

  • Shooting at the unforgettably luxurious Castle Hill Inn with Amanda & Vinny

  • Having TWO back to back wedding days with Eliza & John

  • Kristen’s father of the bride speech that had everyone in stitches

  • Brooke & Darren’s married singing duet

  • Spending an entire holiday weekend on Martha’s Vineyard with Ana & Adam’s… plus the Backdoor Donuts apple fritters

  • Adorable toddler Fionn in a suit at Carol Ann & Greg’s elopement

  • Shooting at a CASTLE with Justin & Victoria in New York

  • Eating cake that my talented bride Jacki made herself


SEE FOR YOURSELF!


RAISING A GLASS TO MY INCREDIBLE SECOND SHOOTERS THIS YEAR!!!

Julianne - Anthony - Mei Lin - Emily

THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING YOU DO! AND ALL THE PITBULL YOU PUT UP WITH IN THE CAR!!!

And the beloved

SELFIE GALLERY

I’m one lucky lady.

Thanks for an incredible year, darlings… here’s to 2019.

 
 

The elusive WORK LIFE BALANCE!

The elusive WORK LIFE BALANCE!

Photographers: do you find yourself scared to take a vacation? Answering emails when you should be sleeping? Skipping out on social events to edit? Learn my fool-proof method to a killer WORK LIFE BALANCE. I get asked about this all the time. I've found a system that really works, allowing me to work when I want to while dedicating enough time for rest and fun. If you're working hard but not playing hard enough, it's time to tune into the Boss Lady Diaries newsletter and read all about it tomorrow!

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9 Ways to Practice Self-Care as a Photographer

Busy season is still going STRONG, so I'm sharing nine ways to practice self-care as a photographer!

The scheduling hack that will change your life

The scheduling hack that will change your life

Today I’m going over how to optimize your calendar and your time with ONE easy trick. It will save you the most time with zero effort, and once you start this, you’ll never go back!

What no one tells you about being an entrepreneur

What no one tells you about being an entrepreneur

There are so many glamorous things about entrepreneurship. No boss! Flexible schedule! Work in pajamas! FREEDOM! But there’s a part of entrepreneurship that no one tells you…

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How a thank you note can change your life

Click to read how something as simple as a hand-written thank you note can literally change your life in the most unexpected ways - and find out the crazy story of how I became Johnny Cupcakes’ photographer.

The controversial phrase to retire this year

The controversial phrase to retire this year

This may be controversial... but you should take the pledge to STOP saying this phrase this year, and I'll tell you why!

What to do about Facebook's 2018 newsfeed announcement

What to do about Facebook's 2018 newsfeed announcement

So, fellow entrepreneur, you've heard about the newsfeed algorithm change that's rolling out soon - and you're FREAKING OUT that this is the end of organic Facebook reach for your small business. Here's how to take action and keep reaching customers!

What camera should I get?

What camera should I get?

Looking for an entry-level camera, but have NO idea where to start? This guide will help you find the perfect one for you!

Surprising tips for the perfect magazine submission

Surprising tips for the perfect magazine submission

 
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Now that you know how to get publishedit's time to learn how to craft the PERFECT submission! The process might surprise you!

DETAILS, DETAILS, DETAILS.


Shoot the hell out of every detail at a wedding, vertical and horizontal. You’re doing your clients a favor by capturing the details they worked hard on, and you’re preparing for a magazine feature before the wedding day is even over. 
 

Submit lots of: Details, flowers, bridal party style, bride style, groom style, location

Submit less: Couple portraits, cocktail hour, ceremony

Submit none: Dancing, family portraits 

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CREDIT

Publications won’t accept weddings without a full vendor list. So, a month before the wedding, ask for a list of all vendors involved. That way, you can credit them in your own blog and social channels, plus you’re ready to rock and roll when you submit to a magazine.

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UNIQUE ELEMENTS

Editors want weddings that are unique and diverse, with photos that are clean, stylish, consistent, and look like they belong in a magazine. Think of the three most unique things about the wedding day and use those to pitch the story.

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DO YOUR RESEARCH

Don’t submit to a DIY magazine if the wedding was styled to perfection by a planner. Don’t submit to a Canadian blog when the wedding took place in North Carolina. Spend time researching these magazines and blogs and their social channels to really get a sense of the weddings they publish and who their reader is.

THE POWER OF NON-EXCLUSIVE

There are two types of publications - exclusive and non-exclusive. Exclusive means the wedding can not be pending or already published before (usually excludes your personal blog). Sometimes it’s exclusive forever, sometimes they ask you to wait 60 or 90 days before submitting to anyone else.

Non-exclusive means you can submit a wedding to 10 different publications and that’s ok! Don’t underestimate the power of going the non-exclusive route - it’s better for ONE of your weddings to be published 6 times, that’s 6x the reach of just submitting to one. Your work gets more life!

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Don’t get discouraged if your wedding isn’t accepted. They may have a full editorial calendar, have just accepted a wedding with a similar style to yours, there aren’t enough detail shots. I’ve been rejected as many if not more times than I’ve been published - it happens! There will usually be a better fit elsewhere.

Don’t give up - keep submitting!


If you do get published, remember to share the good news with all the vendors, say thank you to the editors, and re-post the hell out of it on your blog, website, and social media!

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I hope you enjoyed this two part series!
Email me if you get published, I can't wait to see!!!

(Link to part one if you need it)

How to get published

How to get published

If you’re ever dreamed of being published, this blog is here to tell YOU that YOU CAN DO IT!!! I'm diving into a photographer's review and overview of TwoBrightLights, the best platform to get you published in a wedding magazine or blog.

I'm on a PODCAST!

I'm on a PODCAST!

I’m on a podcast! Listen to the latest CINEMANIA episode “Entrepreneurship - Becoming Your Own Boss” for insight into running a full time creative business, deciding whether or not to go to college, going from zero to dozens of clients, my #1 secret to stellar customer service, and of course, BUBBLE TEA!

Grab My Instagram Success Guide

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Creatives, this one's for you. Introducing: Lena's 5 Steps to Instagram Success Guide! Surprisingly simple yet powerful strategies to increase your engagement and build a rock solid foundation for your social media strategy.