The Thriving Photographer – Film Release!!

My heart is so full! I can’t even believe that this is my film! Is that horrible to admit? To tell you that I am in awe and that sometimes even I have been surprised by the results Thrivers have shared?! In the spirit of complete openness, can I also just admit to you that the first time Ale sent this film to me for preview, I burst into tears and then I watched it over and over and over?!  

Getting to work with Alejandra was a dream! I had seen her work and was immediately smitten, so I added ‘Ale makes me a film’ to my bucket list and thought I was moving on. But I just couldn’t let go of the idea. Everything started coming together and in September, Ale was with me at the Thrive Mastermind retreat to capture this dream of mine that means so much.  I didn’t know what to expect! I was so busy getting ready for my Arizona Thrive Mastermind that I didn’t have much time to plan with her and then at the event, I wanted to be focused on my Thrivers so I wasn’t part of any of the interviews…I just told Ale that I completely trusted her and left the project in her capable hands. 

And now it’s real and it’s amazing and it’s exactly what I hoped to convey!

This is what I do!!! (Insert giddy little hop-jump-dance) I change lives, and I want to help you change yours. 

Now I want to help you build the business and life you’ve been dreaming of. 

I hope you’ll let me help you, because 671 photographers later, I know that I can! We have photographers at every stage from newbie to full-time studio – living and thriving all over the world from the Middle East to East LA. All we are missing is you! 


Oprah wasn’t built in a day

It’s a good thing to have goals and dreams and wishes and hopes.

It’s a good thing.
It’s a good thing.
It’s a good thing. 

Then why do they feel like they sometimes hold me captive? Why do I find myself feeling discouraged and frustrated when those hopes and wishes and dreams and goals are not becoming realitymy reality, fast enough? 

We are not supposed to compare ourselves, after all comparison is the thief of joy and yet we do, I do – and it’s true – joy is stolen. 

There is a perception of who we want to be, this is often the image we cast on our blogs and social media feeds. It is not that it isn’t true, it is rather that this is our best selves shining brightly. 

The not so awesome days and moments often hide in a shadow so not to let the world know. 

But everyone has bad days. Everyone needs kindness. Everyone deserves pick-me-ups. 

We are all here chasing dreams and hopes and wishes and goals. 

Some days they seem far from us, other days we are so close we can almost touch them and every once in a while we realize that all of those wishes are no longer wishes at all because they have just become reality.

In those moments, my greatest wish for you is that you take time to celebrate! I mean really celebrate. Dance, toast, make reservations for that restaurant you can’t afford, light candles, buy yourself something pretty…do something so that you will remember that moment when a dream became reality. 

Because no doubt, you will wake up tomorrow with a new dream, a new wish, a new hope, a new goal and it will seem very far away. 

Source: No source found. If you know who created this, please let us know! 

Office Styling Giveaway

Office Decor Giveaway

As I was searching for the finishing touches for my own office makeover, I was having so much fun picking things out that I kept wishing someone was there with me. Do you ever do that? You experience something awesome and wish more people could be having as much fun as you? Well, it got me thinking that it would be really fun to giveaway some of my fave items from my office reveal to one of you. With the help of some amazing Etsy Creatives who willingly sent one more for me to share, I am so excited to have curated this fabulous #officedecorgiveaway!!

This box of awesome will be complete with two Kate Spade office items (they were just to great not to pick up an extra!), some awesomeness from my new Etsy friends and a paper copy of Chic Magazine, (the magazine that started this whole adventure by featuring my office space), I can’t wait to share some of my happy space with one of you!

Good Luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Included inside the #officedecorgiveaway:

‘Be Happy, Be Bright, Be You’ 8×10 Gold Foil Print by One Word Designs
Gold Dipped Feather Garland by C&C Collection
‘Today Will Be Smashing’ Lucite Tray by Sara Moore
Kate Spade Acrylic Straws from Leah Remillét – found here
‘Every Day I’m Hustling’ Pillow by Michelle Dwight
Chic Magazine (Leah’s office issue!) from Chic Magazine
‘I Am Bold’ 5×7 Gold Foil Print by Laura Kathryn Creative
Kate Spade ‘Skirt The Rule’s’ Round Dish from Leah Remillét – found here
‘This Life is for Thriving’ 5×7 Print by Leah Remillét for The Thriving Photographer™

My Black, White, Gold & Magenta Office Reveal & How I Designed it

I’m so excited to show you my home office! Let’s pretend you’re standing in my office and we’re walking around as I tell you stories about how this all came together.

First I have to say some huge thank you’s, the first is to Pinterest! What on earth did we do before Pinterest?! I’ve been asked several time if I used a designer or how I came up with all the design…Pinterest was my designer! The first step to creating my office was establishing a Pinterest Board so that I could get everything that was inspiring me in one place.  

My second thank you is a huge one and it goes to Chic Critique, their invitation to feature my office in Issue 11 of Chic Magazine was the fire I needed to make.this.happen! In fact, while this office has been years in the making, it actually came together from laying the wood floors to photographing the finished space in 2 weeks, because that’s the power of a deadline!  

Finally thank you to my dear friend Carrie Rainey for coming over and capturing me in my office. You’re the best! 

Now, let’s peak around my office space and then I’ll tell you more about it and give you all the links! 

2014-11-06_0005.jpgHome Office with Magenta Chair - love the Lucite Tray Styling and the 'Every Day I'm Hustling' Gold Pillow.

Office Styling with a faux deer head and gold bar cart - swoon! Love the lucite tray and pink Kate Spade Necklace too!

Gold, Pink and Black Office Shelf Styling for the home office
Gold Glam Bar Cart Styling - So chic! Love the faux deer and the milk glass bowl of lemonsOffice Styling with lucite chairs and a black and white striped rug!

Faux White and Gold Deer Head over Glam Bamboo Bar Cart - Love the Pink Greek Key Jonathan Adler tumbler cups

The Pink and White Office of Leah Remillet - love the L-Desk Shape

Ikea Hack - Gold and White Shelves Styled by Leah Remillet - Love the Pink Mini Banner and vintage cameras

Leah Remillet's Home Office. Gold Spray paint on the Wire Magazine Rack and Glitter Mouse Pad (Both DIY)

Leah Remillet's Home Office with a Big Pink Office Chair, Gold Foil Dream Big Print, Flamingo Print and lots of little touches like the Washi Tape Holder

This office came together with a whole lot of gold spray paint and when I say a whole lot, I mean I cleared out my local paint store! Oh and my amazing husband being willing to put together all my Ikea finds and Etsy and all the amazing artists and creatives who created the pieces that became the final touches that make me love my space. 

It seriously feels amazing to have my office done! It’s actually the first room in our new home to be 100% finished! So one down….a whole bunch more to go! But seriously, even though I just want it all to be done right this very moment, I’m trying to get myself to slow down and enjoy the process. We shall see how well I do?! 

The low down on what’s in my office:

Etsy Finds: 
Though she be but little print – Charm & Gumption 
White and Gold Deer Head – Mahzerandvee
Custom Abstract Painting  10×20 – This was a very special gift from my brand designer
Hello Sign – FHJ Baby
Gold Foil 5×7 Prints (I have 3: Every Good & Perfect, I am Bold & Beautiful, Start)- Laura Kathryn Creative
Be Happy 8×10 Gold Foil Print – One Word Design
Black & Gold World Map Print – SamsSimpleDecor
Gold & Magenta Abstract 8×10 Print – Laura Kathryn Creative
Bloom II Abstract 8×10 Print – Laura Kathryn Creative
Feather Gold Garland – Cc Crystal Chain
Every Day I’m Hustling Pillow – Michelle Dwight

Free Flamingo Printable – Sarah M Dorsey Designs

Ikea Finds & Hacks:
Faux Woodfloors were Ikea closeout

Mounted Shelves – Ikea (brackets were spray painted gold) 
Gold Shelves – I purchased two of the Ikea VITTSJÖ shelving uint, spray painted them gold and than had additional glass panels cut for the tops and bottom shelves of the unit.
L-Shape deak – I purchased 2 different sized Linnmon white desk tops to create the L-shape
The Statement Pieces:
Gold Bamboo Bar Cart – Home Goods (here’s the full post on styling my snack cart)
Fuchsia Wingback Chair – World Market
Ghost Chairs – Amazon 
Black & White Stripe Rug (8×10) – Crate and Barrel

What questions do you have?? Is there anything you’d love for me to clarify or need me to show you how I did “that”? What do you think? The best thing about office space is that it’s personal, it’s really all about creating something functional and inspiring for the person who sits at the desk! 

The Thriver’s Retreat Arizona – Couple Styled Session

It’s share day! This is our second styled session from The Thrive Mastermind Arizona Retreat! This one is especially dear to my heart since our Model is also a Thriver from my Thriving Photographer Program. It’s so funny because some of these girls have been members of Thrive for a few years now so I feel like I know them, such is the case with Trinity but this was my first chance to actually get to spend real life time with her! It was extra special seeing the Thriver’s attending, get to highlight their fellow Thriver and friend and provide her and her hubby with this amazing gift of talent, just as D&T were celebrating their anniversary! 

Funny Story: 
It’s not supposed to rain in Arizona. I came from Seattle, in Seattle we worry about contingency plans for rain, going to AZ. that never crossed my mind, but on our shooting day low and behold there they were – huge menacing dark rain clouds. Inches of rain fell from what seemed like buckets in a matter of minutes, the wind was blowing…and we were running through that huge house looking for doorways, overhangs, anywhere we could shoot now that the outdoors were posing to be a problem! On top of that, I have now learned that in Arizona because it doesn’t rain much, when they have rain of this magnitude it washes out the roadways, so we were worried that our makeup artists and models wouldn’t even make it.

Obviously all turned out! Everyone made it and although we had to start the photo session indoors, the ladies made awesome use of the house and were able to get very creative with architecture, placement and lightening. They blew my mind with how they made the best of the situation. After a bit, the rain cleared and the sun peaked through the clouds and we were able to move all of our styled sessions outdoors. Although the rain posed a bit of a problem at first, I am grateful because the images indoors are some of my favorites.



















This couple exudes love and it was evident throughout the session. They love life and each other (and their four kids!!) you could watch it unfold like a fairytale before your eyes. How they engaged and how that cared for one another, I promise you ladies its all about the little things and men…take notes.  Her husband helped keep her dry from the rain, opened her doors, carried her bags, he is quite the gentlemen and she reciprocated that love. It is a love that will last for eternity.  

Hop on over to these Thriving Photographers to learn what these attendees have going for their business and check out each of their website’s to see some more photography goodness.

Kate Kerr Photography | Reaj Roberts Photography | Christine Mosby Photography | Robyn Preston Photography | All About You Portraits |Eliza Moyer Photography | Heather Rae Murphy Photography | Marie Treat Photography |Lux Portraiture

Behind the scenes_Photography WOrkshop

2014-10-29_0030 My incredible Thriving Photographer and friend, Trinity Moore. Check out her amazing work here.


Keeping it Real on Ugly Monday

Happy Monday friends!! In honor of Ugly Monday (I never get dressed or wear makeup on Mondays because it’s, ‘lock myself in my office and get caught up’ day)… Any who, in honor of being real and Ugly Mondays… Hear are 5 real facts about me!

1) I have problems with stuttering sometimes, it can last anywhere between a few minutes and after my son was born, 3 months.
2) My kitchen is full of gross fruit flies that I can’t get to leave.
3) I think my 4th grade daughter’s math homework has already surpassed my skill level (okay, I know it has!).
4) I only ever tried out for 3 things: cheer, swim and select choir… I didn’t make any of them.
5) I don’t know how to drive a stick despite my husband, sister and friend all trying to teach me.

What about you? SHARE the image below and post your 5 Reals (don’t forget to tag me so I can read them!)

Be Real

The greatest growth often comes when we are given a window into the truth of someone else’s life. It is then that we realize that we are not alone in who or what we are. It is then that we realize that there is light and hope and goodness on the other side. 

How to Plan, Price and Market Mini Sessions + All New Marketing Kit

Hoiday Mini Header2

The Holidays are almost in full swing and if you haven’t planned your Holiday Mini Sessions, don’t worry…it’s not too late! I started offering my first holiday mini sessions in 2009, I made all kinds of mistakes in those first two years. It wasn’t until year three that I started to feel like I had a handle on things, as the years  progressed I’ve refined my marketing, automation and pricing. Today, I want to share my best tips and tricks that I’ve learned over the years! 

Planning Your Mini Sessions

Step 1: What, where and  when. The first step is to get a paper and pen (or your favorite idea planning tool) and start dreaming up what you’d like to see transpire with these mini sessions. This is the fun part, but don’t get pulled in for too long, the part that actually makes you the money is in section 3.

You’ll want to ask yourself the following questions to plan for your event. 

  • What are you going to offer?  Will this be a styled concept and if so, what will you need? Are you planning to offer products or just digital images? Consider what the cost and shipping turn around time will be. Don’t forget checking into props and material to be sure it’s doable.
  • Where will these mini sessions take place? I’ve used Christmas tree farms (with their permission), rented a studio space for a day and used fields with old barns. It’s amazing what’s available when you ask! 
  • When will you be offering your mini sessions? Will you be doing them all in one day or spread out? I like to offer 2 days of sessions. If those both sell out and you feel you have the time you could always open another day. But be careful not to over schedule yourself, remember all of those sessions have to be edited! Also, have a contingency plan in place just in case weather is not permitting. 



Pricing Your Mini Sessions

Holiday_Mini_BlogEmailBlast_900px_sampleIt’s time to plan numbers. You’ll need to determine, how many sessions you’re booking, what you will charge. Are you willing to open more slots if the initial spots fill? Are you sure??? Warning: Every year photographers get drawn into the idea of more money and lose their sanity in the process! Yes, ending the year with killer sales is awesome but not at the cost of your family, your sanity and all that is good. The holiday season should not give you strong desires to chuck Santa from the rooftop. 

Step 2:  To determine how many sessions you’re willing to take on, consider the time involved for each session. A 30 minute slot, plus culling, editing, design, ordering and preppy for delivery. Based on your guesstimation of total time invested for each booking, how many mini sessions do you feel you can reasonably book without losing your head? Next consider how much income you would like to generate from your mini session event.  Finally, take your profit goal and divide it by the number of sessions you’d like to schedule. Ex. $5000 / 14 mini sessions  = $313.00

This gives you a ball park of where you could be thinking for your price tag but you also need to consider your cost for products, paying an assistant if you’re going to have one etc. as well as how this plays with your regular prices. Holiday mini’s should be a considerable savings from your regular prices. One of my favorite things about mini’s is that it gives old clients the incentive to book sooner rather than later and new clients the incentive to try you out! 

With all of these ideas factored in, it’s time to determine your offering. Here are some things to consider:

The Holiday’s are busy enough, try to keep your time investment low! While through the rest of the year I focus on offering amazing products, at Christmas time…I’m all about fast turn around! To save myself time and the  back and forth as we plan/proof/approve products, in my mini sessions I only offer Christmas Cards, digital files and a digital greeting card (which is great publicity for me)! I have two price points. The difference between the two packages is that one has 25 cards with 4 to 6 images and the next has 50 cards with 10 to 12 images. Of course they can order more cards if needed with either option! 


Promoting Your Mini Sessions

Holiday_Mini_Instagram_sampleThis is the most important step for your mini session success! If you want them to come, they have to know you’re here! So how do you get the word out and get those slots filled? Any great promotion needs to start with a great offer, have beautiful imagery and a compelling design. The goal is to draw them in so that they will read/review your offer and then of course, book you! 

I like to take a 4 step approach.  
First I launch (or release the news) to my current client base. I order 5×7 press printed cards and send them out to my past client list. Next I follow up with an email newsletter (using the same design from my card mailer) to those same past clients! My goal is to fill as many slots as possible with past clients. I make sure to give them a deadline before I’ll be announcing to the public! 

When that deadline day comes, it’s time to start the next wave of marketing (step 3). This time to my full audience. My hope is to have a good portions of slots already filled so I can say something like ‘50% full’ – or – ‘only 6 spots left’. Nothing promotes action quite like scarcity! Now I will send out a newsletter to my full list, along with a blog post and social media blitz. That means I’ll post about the promotion on my Social Media outlets (like Facebook and Instagram).  Personal tidbit: As I built my client list, I’ve actually had several years where it never even goes to the blog and full list because my past client list filled all the spots – that’s a great feeling! 

The Marketing Design – We’ve Done it For You!  

Do not underestimate great design! We are so excited to be releasing a BRAND NEW Holiday Mini Marketing Kit! This kit has everything you need to successfully launch your Holiday Mini Session Events and we are so super excited to be making it available for you at our intro price of $14.00! ADD TO CART!

2013 Shay Cochrane
Intro Price
Christmas Mini 2 – Marketing Kit Includes:

  • Promotion Scheduler Printable
  • 5×7 Promotional Card for Current Clients
  • Skinny Address Label Wrap from Studio
  • Blog Announcement & Email Graphic for Full List
  • Christmas Mini Title
  • Promotion FAQ Outline with tips for Planning & Promoting 
  • Instagram Template
  • Facebook Timeline Template
  • BONUS 1:  3 – 5×7 Client Holiday Card Templates
  • BONUS 2: Client Skinny Address Label Wrap


Christmas Mini Sample Kit Photography by Jessica Paxton and Amanda Star