The lifecycle of a photographer.

Is there a photographer out there that ISN’T offering a workshop to other photographers?

Good God.

Here’s the life cycle of a photographer:

Starts out fairly cheap but not so great.
Gets better. Keeps their prices lower. Books a ton. Gets burned out.
Raises their prices. Still books clients but maybe not as many as before. That’s ok because the clients are better. Gets to travel a bit. (Me right now and holding)
Gets some higher end clients, reads too many blogs about “valuing their worth” and jacks up their prices even more.
Prices themselves out of their market. (if you or your friends couldn’t afford you, you’re charging too much.)
Brands themselves as worldwide to find more clients.
Shocked clients don’t want to pay exorbitant prices for them to travel (first class natch) to cities with already great photographers.
Clients diminish.
Starts marketing to photographers about Branding! Social Media!
Starts offering workshops! (only 3k for the weekend! You get to take home a branded pen! You have a name card at your seat. It’s in gold calligraphy!)
Becomes just like the other 100,000 other photogs offering the exact same thing and completely stops creating the art that made them unique in the first place.

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The Court Jester.

I spent 30 minutes fighting with Beau tonight about garden edging. I tell him suggesting we do or buy things is like going before the court to plead my case. It doesn’t matter what it is. If it costs a monetary value, Beau will have something to say about it. If I needed a kidney and there was one for sale, he would bitch about the price. And then ask if they give a cash discount.

It drives me insane. I was raised by spenders. The proverbial grasshoppers from Aesop’s fable that never planned for the winter and only sung during the summer. If my mother wanted something she bought it. Or bought it for me. My father, seemingly consumed with the guilt of being a dad I only saw in a few months a year, did the same thing. Private summer camp started at the age of 6. In 4th grade I was handed $500 cash for clothes the weekend before school started. The budget only grew every year. My birthday parties were legendary. The entire grade was invited. Our house was beautiful, every vacation was 5 star, but of course when it came time for college I was SOL. “I just thought your dad was paying for school, dear”, my mom exclaimed as we were writing the invites to my graduation party. My father, of course, had other plans that didn’t involve dropping 40k on a second tier state school and informed me the only way college was happening for me was through student loans. They had literally not scraped one dime together.

You would think that a childhood of feast followed by famine would imprint in me that as an adult my spending and saving could not follow in the family footsteps. Unfortunately that didn’t happen, if anything it made it worse. My childhood of being the Iron Range Veruca Salt only carried moreover into adulthood. “But I want it NOWWWW!” I demanded as I bought myself a brand new SUV with a 9% interest rate at age 24. Clothes, shoes, furniture, it didn’t matter. It didn’t matter of course until I had racked up 5k in credit card debt and had just quit my horrible but well paying job in the summer of 2008. Not exactly the best year in history to try to find a job. Thankfully a friend took pity on me and got me an interview at Target Headquarters. I was now the ripe old age of 26 and had 4 years of managing newsrooms under my belt. I told the reporters what stories they were assigned to. I hobnobbed with the anchors. The Police Chief and I were besties. I was somebody! So of course, I expected to be interviewing for something really exciting. Head of PR maybe? I could just see myself jet-setting around to be interviewed about those crazy Black Friday shoppers. Or maybe head of events? Sitting front row at Fashion Week next to Anna herself. Totally.

Suffice it to say I was less then enthused when I was informed the only position I was going to get an interview for was as a “Team Assistant”. Basically the admin grunt for a team of employees. And the division I was going to work in? Paper. As in the paper the Weekly Ad was printed on. There was a team of 5 people whose job it was to negotiate and buy the paper for it and I was going to do all of their administrative drudgery. I was now Pam from The Office at Target.

It was at this same time that I met Beau. Actually I met him a couple months before this when I was basically jobless except for working very part time for my uncle’s wine distributor. Meeting a man that actually had his financial house in order was terrifying. In addition to actually owning a house, he also had a car with a 0% interest rate, a credit rating in the 800’s and when I “accidentally” saw an ATM receipt with his checking account balance, I had to call my best friend immediately.

“Sarah!” I hissed into the cell phone, crouched in his bathroom with the water and the fan running to cover my voice, “ I just saw how much money Beau has… like money he actually has just chilling in his bank account,” my voice quaked like someone that had just saw Jesus roll away the stone. “it’s like 10 times the amount we have ever had in our checking accounts COMBINED.”

“Daaaam,” she replied “You are so screwed when he realizes how broke you are.”

Seeing how financially together Beau had it made me jump at the job for Target. It didn’t matter if the only thing I was going to sit front row at was a meeting on paper weights. (Literally the weight of paper is a thing. Sadly, something I became an expert at during my time there.) It was a full-time job with benefits during the worst recession in history. The 10% discount didn’t hurt either.

 Thankfully Beau saw beyond my poor credit score and the dust bunnies that filled my savings account. He kept dating me and my job at Target ended up being the financial blessing I desperately needed. Beau has taught me the importance of saving and making sure every payment is made on time. Like every month and not just when I feel like it. But still the urge to consume is great in this one and I struggle with it every day. Having a child of my own has actually helped because I realize that I want to provide for her in a way that I wasn’t. So yes it still drives me nuts when Beau questions every purchase I bring home and gripes about the elaborate vegetable garden I am planning for the summer. But I realize it’s all for my own good. In our personal fable, the grasshopper married the ant and they had a baby that needs a college fund for all seasons.

And I promise you, even when Sloane gets accepted to Harvard, her dad’s first response will be, “What’s the cash discount?”

Unsolicited baby advice

Just wrote an email to a friend expecting and figured I’d post it here too. Take it for what its worth, but these were the items that got us through the last 14 months.

Hi! I hope you are feeling well, you are entering the home stretch, how exciting! I was looking around my nursery and thought of you. I’m not sure if you are doing a registry but I just wanted to give you my 2 cents on a few items. Take it for what’s it worth:)

I found that Nordstrom online has really curated a baby page that is the best of the best for baby gear. You really can’t go wrong with any of the brands they carry.

A few items we love, that you might want to look into:

Uppa Baby Vista is the stroller we have. It is expensive but worth every damn dollar. That is what I have learned about baby stuff. The expensive stuff is worth the price. It doesn’t break and it has really good functionality. It’s being discontinued because they are now making you buy the bassinet separately. Sloane slept in it every night for the first two months right next to the bed.
http://www.amazon.com/UPPAbaby-Vista-Stroller-Discontinued-Manufacturer/dp/B0077J2KB4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1413317805&sr=8-2&keywords=uppa+baby+vista

uppababy-vista-stroller-jake-black-with-graphite-frame-1

Peg Perego carseat (Heavy, but made in Italy and exceeds American safety standards.) Goes until 30 pounds. Sloane is still in hers at 14 months. That’s another thing about the cheaper baby items. They say they are rated to a certain size but they aren’t. My friend just had to move her daughter out of a cheaper brand at 6 months and she is not a big baby.
http://www.amazon.com/Peg-Perego-Convertible-Premium-Toddler/dp/B005WH3R9M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1413317912&sr=8-1&keywords=peg+perego+car+seat

peg

4 Moms Bouncer Seat/Swing (AMAZING. 5 different types of swinging and sounds. You can also plug your iPhone into it to play music as well! Make sure to get newborn insert.
http://www.amazon.com/4moms-MamaRoo-2014-Classic-Grey/dp/B007UK1CF0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1413317971&sr=8-1&keywords=4moms+bouncer

mamaRoo-Infant-Seat---Classic--pTRU1-12927855dt

4 Moms Pack and Play. It literally opens with one button. Amazing. Now used as a toy coral and a place to watch Peg + Cat while mommy showers.
http://www.amazon.com/4moms-4M-009-01-4Moms-Breeze-Playard/dp/B0088JRAFI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1413318017&sr=8-1&keywords=4moms+breeze

4moms_breeze

Prince Lionheart Wipe warmer (a weird thing I didn’t even know about until my shower, but incredible. She hated getting her diapers changed in the hospital but as soon as we got home and had warm wipes she hasn’t made a peep since.) Make sure to buy ever fresh pillow inserts for it. They keep the wipes from not drying out.
http://www.amazon.com/Prince-Lionheart-Ultimate-Wipes-Warmer/dp/B00008ODBG/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1413318087&sr=8-4&keywords=prince+lionheart

princelionheart-wipes-warmer-3557338-01

Speaking of diapers…HONEST COMPANY HONEST COMPANY HONEST COMPANY!
Cannot say enough about their diapers and wipes. The wipes leave no soapy residue like all the others we tried. Plus really cute patterns. Ships monthly, so no late right runs to the grocery store.
www.honest.com

freebies2deals-honest-diapers

Boppy newborn lounger ( a boppy with a center to it. Great for when they just want to chill and your arms are tired:)
http://www.amazon.com/Boppy-4300113K-2PK-Newborn-Lounger/dp/B00AIVNBN4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1413318152&sr=8-1&keywords=boppy+newborn

boppy

Mittens ( they scratch the sh*t out of their faces. Their nails are short but sharp!)
http://www.amazon.com/TL-Care-Organic-Mittens-Natural/dp/B004H36ZZA/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1413318203&sr=8-10&keywords=baby+mittens

mittens

I only did pacifiers until 3 months, so I’m no expert but these seemed to do the trick for the short time we used them

http://www.amazon.com/Philips-Soothie-Pacifier-Months-2-Pack/dp/B0045I6IA4/ref=sr_1_1?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1413319877&sr=1-1&keywords=pacifier

pacifier

These blue pads (I know weird and OCD, but you don’t want to have wash the changing pad cover every time. And they will pee on you. A lot.)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FD2AX2/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i03?ie=UTF8&psc=1

chux

This mirror (something you don’t realize you need until the first time they are in the carseat and you have no idea what they are doing.)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007HS6W6Y/ref=oh_details_o08_s00_i01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

index

Swaddles. Blankets don’t work. The only thing that does is velcro. Swaddle every night. EVERY NIGHT.
http://www.amazon.com/Summer-Infant-SwaddleMe-Adjustable-Woodland/dp/B007XL658K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1413318246&sr=8-1&keywords=swaddle+me

73985_sum_mi_swaddleme_3pk_who_loves_you_product

Aden and Anais Bamboo Blankets. Great for nursing covers, cleaning up breast milk, and for using in strollers. We have 9 and used them every day for a year.
http://www.amazon.com/aden-anais-Bamboo-Swaddle-Blanket/dp/B0085DJ71M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1413318306&sr=8-1&keywords=aden+and+anais+bamboo

Aden-full-color-line

If you have to puke in an airplane, puke in the sink.

Since the electronic test blinked “PREGNANT” at me 12 weeks ago (note: don’t take preggo tests at 6 am. You will seriously think you are still dreaming, get back into bed, and then exorcist style rise up out of the covers screaming “HOLY SHIT, WE ARE HAVING A BABY!”) I have been inundated with books and blogs on all of the options there are when it comes to pregnancy, giving birth, and child rearing. I’m going to be addressing these in order over the next week. Let’s start with my current delicate condition.

Pregnancy:

If you need someone to talk about puking with, I’m your girl. I puke just about every day. In the shower, in my bathroom sink, in my kitchen sink and when I’m feeling especially pissy, in my husband’s bathroom sink. I’ve puked on the side of the highway, I’ve puked while driving, I’ve puked in an airplane bathroom(in the sink natch), I’ve even puked in my best friend’s yard.( I kicked some snow over it and prayed her dog would find it first.) Basically the only place I haven’t puked is in a toilet. I find toilets disgusting and thinking about that fact while I’m puking actually makes me puke more so I avoid them like the plague carriers they are.

When the puking first started, I got loads of advice.

” Eat saltines before you even get out of bed in the morning! ”

“Drink ginger tea and eat ginger candies!”

“Take Unisom!”

“Give more BJ’s!”  (Google it, it’s actually a remedy.)

Guess what?

Shockingly and much to my hubby’s chagrin, none of these worked.

Here’s what works for me. I simply don’t eat until noon. That way when I puke it’s liquid. Puking just liquid is much easier and less gross than the alternative. Trust me on this. I heard the nausea was supposed to go away at 12 weeks. We are two weeks past that and now I only puke about once every other day. I will take that as a win. At least the crazy food aversions have subsided.

Oh. My. God.

The food aversions.

Eating during pregnancy is dodging landmines everyday.  And looking way less cute than her.

Are those Toms?

Are those Toms?

Everywhere you look there are people telling you what you should and shouldn’t be eating quite forcefully and condescendingly. “The baby eats everything you eat, so make mindful, healthy choices.” I imagine the baby in my stomach just with a huge open mouth, a la Jaws, facing up at my stomach gulping down all of my poor choices. But here’s the thing they don’t mention in most preggo books… the first 2 months of pregnancy…EVERYTHING SOUNDS REVOLTING. My hormones revved up right around Thanksgiving, so that basically ruined the holiday for me forever. Everything in that bountiful feast makes me disgusted now. My wonderful MIL made the mistake of making stuffing for Christmas. She then had THE NERVE to put the bowl next to me at the table. I actually had to get up and leave the room. Even typing the word stuffing right now makes me have to breath deeply and swallow down the bile. Progesterone is a cruel bitch.

I was a hardcore salad girl pre-pregnancy. After my eggo got preggo, every single vegetable made me gag. Pre-preggo I ate fish a couple times a week. After baby, Finding Nemo makes me dry heave.  The foods that didn’t make me want to run to the sink those first 10 weeks?

McDonald’s french fries,

Spaghettios,

Kraft Mac and Cheese ,

frozen pizza,

and the occasional bowl of Peanut Butter Captain Crunch.

This is me. I imagine the baby is where the Happy Meal box is.

This is me. I imagine the baby is where the Happy Meal box is.

If this kid isn’t born a Cyclops, it will be a miracle.

Those are the foods I ate while my baby was developing it’s most important body parts. If it’s not so good at math, I think we can blame the Red Baron. The weirdest part of it is that they aren’t foods I ever really ate before pregnancy. They are the foods I ate when I was 8. Growing a baby, actually made me regress back to my own childhood. (I at least resisted the urge to watch old Jem episodes on YouTube.) The guilt I felt when cramming those delicious McDonalds fries down my mouth instead of kale was truly crushing, but you have to believe me when I tell you that even seeing a bag of kale in the produce section actually made me have to leave the store dry-heaving to compose myself in the parking lot. Thankfully, since hitting the 2nd trimester my beloved salads have made a comeback and the processed foods have been relinquished to the back of the pantry. Sadly, I think fish won’t be making a comeback until TuPac comes out of hiding , but that’s what gummy fish oil supplements are for, right?

As for all the foods you are strictly told to avoid during pregnancy I pretty much never looked at that  list until last week. I don’t eat meat, so the deli slices don’t apply. Fish we’ve already covered. I’m French and love cheese so that isn’t going anywhere. I just buy the pasteurized kind at the grocery store and not the Brie that just came off the boat at our local overpriced fancy food shop.

Imagine him wearing a beret, smoking a cigarette, and complaining about the trip.

Imagine him wearing a beret, smoking a cigarette, and complaining about the trip.

I’ve never been a big coffee drinker, but I will indulge in the occasional iced tea or small coffee. I figure if I’m not going to get sleep after the baby comes, it can see how that feels now. Alcohol has been the biggest pain in the ass.

Ah likes my wines.

Blame it on my hubby working for a GODDAMNED WINERY.

I posted an article on Facebook about studies now showing that wine during pregnancy isn’t harmful. You’d think I had posted a video of me swinging my Chihuahua around by the tail.  The vitriol!  People have way strong opinions about this. I thought everyone now had the occasional sippy sip when the OB’s back was turned.  Hells no. There were plenty of women like,  “I did not have ONE SIP OF THAT POISON JUICE during my pregnancy, how could you???”

Honestly?

I had to have a glass just to get through all the comments.

Tomorrow…my birth plan!

Get your dehydrators ready.

We be eating some placenta.

The Original – My love of Alexis Carrington

After hearing about the passing of famed costume designer Nolan Miller it got me thinking about my love of 80’s television icons. Growing up there were only two women that I ever wanted to be. Alexis Carrington or Suzanne Sugarbaker. While most girls my age were obsessed with dressing like the sisters on Full House, I was putting on my mom’s ballgowns and practicing my most menacing Joan Collins stare in the guest bedroom mirror. The fact that these two characters were strong, ballsy brunettes is not lost on me. Suzanne’s costumes were really nothing to write home about since the costumers on Designing Women had no idea how to dress a woman that had curves but Dynasty was another universe. Mr. Miller had a profound talent and dressed all the women on the show in only the best and latest of 80’s fashion. Currently, late 1980’s – early 1990’s fashion is on every runway. Nothing but neon and color-blocking are clogging the runways. What I hope shows up at 2012 Fall Fashion week is early to mid 80’s fashion. Before the neon and acid wash, women dressed UP. Ballgowns, matching suits, grand hats and luxurious furs were de rigueur for powerful women of the 1980’s. No one exemplified the power, wealth, and luxury of the decade more than Alexis Carrington on Dynasty. The scheming ex-wife of wealthy oilman Blake Carrington, Alexis’s main fun in life was to get in knock down, drag out cat-fights with his new plain jane wife, Krystle (played by Linda Evans) Alexis steals every scene simply by her fabulous outfits and outlandish antics.

The first thing you need to know about Alexis, is that she loved anything fur and since Dynasty was based in Denver she got a lot of opportunity to wear it. As a borderline vegan, I want to hate her choices, but good God can she pull off a muffler.

I think this is the outfit that would come from a dalliance between Luke Skywalker and an Ewok, but she still pulls it off. I wish we could see the full length of the sleeves. I need to see how far down that fur goes.

I am totally stealing this look for winter. I already own those earrings so I’m halfway there. I found the faux alternative, now I just need to add some winter white and I’m set.

Love the matching scarf and hat dear. Combining black and yellow not so much.

She’s positively gleeful! Must have been after another catfight with Krystle. Hot rollers need to make a comeback in my bathroom.

Cruella de Carrington. How awesome is the structural art deco jewelry? I miss lip liner.

A hat with matching sleeve cuffs? Where does one procure such items?? Our first encounter with the red nails. Or as my friend Mary calls them, steal-your-man red. Won’t be the last.

How jaunty! Where did pins go? Did they call before they left? If Navajo is the house guest that just won’t leave, pins are your cool friend from childhood that left town one summer and never returned, but when you found them on Facebook they write Twilight fanfic and love Toby Keith so you’re deeply confused. Were they cool or did you just think they were? THOSE are what we call deep thoughts, Carl Sagen. Take note.

Alexis didn’t just sport fur hats. She was a fan of all large head pieces. I am such a fan of the netting and color-coordinated to boot! I need more netting in my life. Also that blush. Is it called rouge or is it called blush? All of this blush talk has me reciting Steel Magnolias lines to my dog. There should be a whole post about that movie and my love for Olympia Dukakis. Another time.

Ooh! A petite chapeau! She looks like if Coco Chanel was hard up and started designing uniforms for nurses.  Love that lapel. How Art deco.

Nobody makes a funeral more chic than Ms. Carrington. The black netting is beyond. A little bit of skin and a large rhinestone earring complete the sexy mourner look. Rawr.

I told you we hadn’t seen the last of the red nails. I assume this is her “Are you there God? It’s me Alexis.” look, but for all we know she’s lunching with the ladies and dressing down some poor waiter for not putting dressing on the side. I think we’ve seen these earrings now about 5 times. Look at you Alexis, wearing things again! How green of you dear.

Oh how I love a phone in a car. And it matches. Of course it does.

Again with the netting Alexis? I feel like is her testifying in court look. Does she ever lower the netting? Is it a sun protector?  Do things get stuck in it? Is she constantly having to adjust it or is it static? I need answers…

Look how cute she is in her little headband! The hot rollers are in full-effect here. I’m not liking the appearance of those forehead lines though. Your eyebrows shouldn’t be able to move after the age of 35.

Oh how I pray this isn’t a flapper costume and just what she wears to the grocery store on a Tuesday morning.

A turban. A f’ing turban. And she still looks totally glamorous.

A rather sexy look for prime time television. I miss green satin. I also miss breasts without a gap in between them.

I also miss powersuits. I truly love how she outshines Linda Evans in every. single. photo. Red stockings with a purple suit? Daring Ms. Collins! Linda, that jacket looks less like Chanel and more like a flotation device. Scooch over dear. You’re blocking Joanie’s lighting.

A rare mis-step in the annals of Dynasty’s costuming. On top of everything else wrong with it, is it also quilted? Good lord. I’m not a fan of that hair either. She’s got the mom chop going on.

Her sexy secretary look. A little too Victor/Victoria for my taste.

This has got to be her female prisoner look. Was she locked up for pushing Krystal one too many times in the pool? This photo scares me. Where are the earrings? The scarf? She doesn’t even have her purple eyeshadow on!

Aww… there’s my girl. Much better.

The best part about Dynasty were the GOWNS. I would wear either of these in a hot minute. Linda, your bangs are positively awful.

Alexis created the original side-eye. Linda, Linda? Over here dear. We really do need to adjust that Klonopin dosage.

Another shot of the gold dress. I need to buy more coffee filters. Thanks for reminding me, love.

Not really a gown, but we’ll let it slide.  What do we think she drinks? Is she a Chardonnay or Sauv blanc girl? That better not be white zin. She might as well just be drinking straight out of the box then.

I feel like this could double for a brothel ad on the back of a Reno phonebook. Has Linda ever shown a forearm? Wouldn’t hurt girl.

The fuschia and the sleeves combined with that striped mirror makes me want to start blaring the Miami Vice theme. Is that a BOW in the back??? Perfection.

My favorite gown. She’s so f’ing fancy I can’t stand it.

I need this lipstick. And again with the rollers. I’m getting twitchy with the Amazon.com buy button. Do they still work as well as they did back then? Will I have to sleep in them? I need that volume!

Again with that side eye. I’m getting turned on Ms. Carrington.

A shoulder pad with a jersey knit. Knock me over with a feather! Do those little clips hold it on her bra-strap? Promise me they do. I need those in my life.

Mother of the bride look. What ever happened to peach? Everything ugly is coming back, but I’m still being made to wait for the 1985 Triple Crown of Peach, Mauve, and Teal??? I would totally rock some mauve skinny jeans. I would also rock that sweater. I’ve never met a dolman sleeve I didn’t like.

I’ll leave you with my favorite image. I just can’t stand the hauteness.

This is my call to arms. Let’s bring back the hats, the gloves, the fur, the gowns. We need more glamour and less sweatpants as perfectly acceptable leaving the house attire. When did America get so sloppy? Let’s wear matching outfits, costume jewelry, and coordinate our phones to our turbans. Come on ladies!