I attended a workshop last week focused on branding and business for creatives. It was one of those things I looked forward to for a while, had high hopes for and went in with my head held high. This world of glitter hearts and love and shiny amazing things that I found myself in two years ago has been such a blessing, but it's a place that I've suddenly found not fitting quite right. Like those awesome pants you buy on sale that fit perfectly except for the length or the size of the pockets. Those small details that make you question the whole. 

You see, I just turned 29. Well, I guess I've been 29 for just 30 days now and holy cats, does it feel uncomfortable. 29 is so close to 30 and no, it's not that 30 scares me. I'm actually hoping to welcome 30 with arms wide open. It's that this number represents a sort of passage, a kind of growth. Personally, professionally, in all the ways that matter most. 

At this workshop, and actually, in most of my daily life, I find pride and accomplishment in being the age I am and what I would deem a success. This business sort of happened upon me seven+ years ago and I can easily say I found myself in creating these images that make people so so happy. I went from being that awkward kid in high school to being this business woman who's slowly / quickly sometimes making a name for herself in this industry.

When I made the decision only a short two years ago that bar + bat mitzvahs are the events I want to photograph for the rest of my life, it was like someone turned on the light in my heart. Documenting these events is like looking into one of those fortune-teller globes; these kids hold so much promise. I could be in the midst of future presidents, doctors, lawyers, teachers who are going to impact other kids forever. Their future is unknown and SO SO bright. And for as much as I hope the world for them, I also realize who I was always meant to be when I'm in the midst of them, dancing and eating cupcakes and wearing glowsticks on their heads. Feeling the beat of the music and laughing and making memories with their friends. 

On Tuesday, I thought I had it all together. 

At day's end on Tuesday? Total mess. [Slight disclaimer: my mess came in the form of a call home to Mom, reassurance and a slight kick in the pants. See also: Ben & Jerry's pint of strawberry cheesecake]

After the ice cream was gone, I realized something quite remarkable: I had already known I needed to make a change. But that tug in my gold-glitter heart became an unavoidable pull. For as much as I'm growing more every day into who I'm meant to be, these kids are too. The word is spreading and the events get bigger and bigger. I photographed 5 past clients for their senior portraits this year. These kids are growing up! (Insert sobbing / proud me here)

It's time for this cute gold glitter heart-filled world to grow up a bit and change into something a bit more sophisticated, a bit more classic but still 110% me. 

I want to assure you I'm not going anywhere. I'll still be blogging, still be working (oh goodness, the number of families I'll meet this month is AMAZING!) and come early 2015, I'll be a little bit older and a little bit more me :) I say this always and I never want to not say it: your trust and faith in me to continue doing this work pushes me to do even better every time. When your business is YOU, there are decisions you can make that are both personal and professional. This brand refresh is both of those intertwined. And for the record? I know you're all going to love it even more than you love this look + feel. 

As always, you all rock my world. The amount of people I connected with yesterday at a bar + bat mitzvah event fair was astounding - I wanted to hug all of you! I hugged a few, passed out more chocolates and am crossing fingers they call to book me into 2016. The families who have booked for this fall's mini session dates? You make my heart sing. This business feels like a team effort much of the time - I'm putting myself and my work out into the world; you're receiving it with open arms and spreading the love.

Thank you. I'm forever indebted and in love with each and every one of you.

xoxo,
Sydnee 

Back in November, I traveled to San Francisco / Oakland for a few family sessions and before the "work" portion of the trip began, I decided to take a few days to vacation. A word I still am unsure the meaning of! This was after a non-stop summer, a couple of personal triumphs and a few more personal lows, so it couldn't have come at a more perfect time. I'd only traveled alone one other time - to the Maine Media Workshops in 2009 - which proved to be a life-changing series of moments. I was ready for a bit of magic! Special thanks to Jonny Edwin and Olivia for their fantastic recommendations and to Rachel for reconnecting over beer near Washington Square. 

I spent the days running, bus traveling, walking, sleeping and keeping my eyes and ears open for adventure. I ate pizza, I drank wine, I went to cheese shops and bookstores. I had my tintype taken HERE, which I just read closed up shop earlier this year - so grateful I had the experience when they were still open!

The best part? I encountered the BatKid experience on my last morning run; proof that dreams come true and good people help make them happen!

Everything was new, everything was perfect. With the slight exception of the worst cough/cold on the history of the planet, but I didn't let that stop me. 

I took my camera with me only once, on a 5 hour bus tour of the city that should have lasted only 2. I had a lot of time to spend looking, seeing and dreaming. I captured the majority of these images on that bus tour, exploring lines, composition, angles and colors, all from a bus seat. Unfortunately, I didn't picnic in front of the Painted Ladies like I had hoped, but there's always next time! And who knows, maybe then I'll run into Uncle Jesse and little Michelle from Full House. Dreams really do come true! 

Looking through these images, I'm so grateful for the few days I had here and am counting the months until I can return. There is so much more to see and explore, but for now, these images are enough San Fran magic for me :)

xoxo,
Sydnee