2013 has been a banner year so far and I've been oh-so-blessed by all of your support and love. Thank you!

About three months ago, my bestie and coffee guru Marissa asked me if I had any work to show at the coffee house where she works here at home in Mpls. I had flashbacks to the last time I showed work in October 2010. The long grueling hours of going back and forth between images, pairing things that shouldn't have been paired, printing, matting, framing, hanging, re-hanging, tea drinking.

As soon as those flashbacks appeared, I flashed forward to the opening night and the hugs, warm wishes, laughter and endless amounts of support I received.

So, I said yes. Because I knew that deep inside my gold-glitter heart, I did have something to show. 

Mid-June came and I had been hoarding all these bright sunny in-home session images from my time in California, looking at them almost daily. The deadline was fast approaching and in a panic, I called my friend Sara Montour and begged for advice. I hopped on my bike (more on that coming soon!) and met her for donuts ten minutes later. 

I poured my heart wide open and Sara, as she always does, told me to JUST GO FOR IT. Show your heart and people will respond positively to it. They always have, right? Trust the process and trust that your heart knows. 

I went home that day and chose my absolute favorite images from California, Minneapolis, my studio and all of it? Came directly from my heart through the printer to the frames on the walls. 

What's most interesting about these images is that no, they aren't perfect. No, these aren't images you typically expect to see on the walls of a downtown coffeeshop when you're studying for summer school exams or meeting a friend for a morning brew. I didn't edit any of these images heavily or make them all all-stars. That's not my style, it's not ME. Who I am, deep inside my core is a storyteller. So! These images are perfect to me because they tell a story of who these families are in their core: honest, vulnerable, ADORABLE and full of love and life. And that's why I chose them. 

I'm thrilled to invite all of you to this little corner of Minneapolis on August 1 - let's eat cupcakes and look at images together. I mean, I'm baking one in my little apartment kitchen JUST FOR YOU. I hope you'll join me!

 

xoxo,
Sydnee 

It's been exactly 365 days since I walked out of a full-time "real" job and into my DREAM LIFE!

I'm celebrating this milestone by photographing some fabulous families in sunny California - but really? I've been celebrating every morning, noon and night since May 25, 2012. Besides, isn't life so much more fun with cupcakes, good pop music and gold glitter hearts? 

This life hasn't come without challenges, victories and all the in-betweens. Over the past year, I've met so many fabulous people who have taught me the ways of the business, but more importantly, their example of a work-life balance has shown me exactly how amazing the freelance life can be.

My little sunny place on the Internet has been a starting place for several conversations about this journey. I had the privilege to meet and mentor beautiful Quyen, speak to my alma mater (both of them!) on numerous occasions and honestly, this "work" has shown its rewards infinity-fold. Standing in front of a classroom filled with students and you remember the roles being reversed 3, 5, 8 years ago is a hugely humbling experience. I wondered if I would say enough to inspire them to make things happen. But apparently, I said enough for them to ask me back! To choose me for "interview a professional photographer" assignments, to review portfolios, to meet for a more personal question and answer. Quickly, I'm realizing that I really am making it. I am really, truly, honored. With my whole gold glitter heart.

With this first anniversary comes a few sparkling changes. Click around the site (thank you, Rae - your design is fantastic! Sara, your camera always shows my truest self - you're a diamond!). Let's get reacquainted in the Sydnee section. Ask me a question in the contact section. Check out the Pinterest boards. There will be more changes to come, so come back often. I can promise more hearts, more sunshine and more reasons to celebrate!

Put on your dancing shoes, throw up some confetti and grab a cupcake - here are the top 5 lessons I learned in the last year:

"You are an island." My dear friend Melissa Oholendt told me this after I sent a frantic email last summer about all those behind-the-scenes things you don't get to see. It was both humbling and intensely inspiring to read these words and those that came after. "No one will care about your business more than you." And she's right: No one else lays awake at night, hoping the gold glitter hearts from my amazing South African Etsy seller come in time to make more Spread the Love packets. Of course friends and family are cheering me on, encouraging me in both success and failure. But the foundation of this business lies in MY heart. I need to be it's biggest advocate, waking up every day wanting this life. Otherwise, it won't grow. I have to fill the watering can as much as possible.

This filling happens when I pay it forward. Speaking to photography students, my work at Photography @ the Center, volunteering with the Liz Logelin Foundation, donating my time and the occasional family sessions to nonprofit auctions and causes I believe in. All of these experiences the last year have filled me in ways I still can't even see. Business has BOOMED because of it. I'm putting my name out there, but most importantly? This foundation of service and love is spreading. Quickly. Love is the name of this game!

With all this opportunity, it's easy to be a "yes" person. Yes, I'll donate these 10 sessions. Yes, I'll be in 28 places at once. Yes, I'll work every weekend and never see my family. In the beginning, even before 2012, I was a yes person. I wanted so desperately to work. I was hungry for experience and growth. This hard work and dedication paid off and now I'm standing in 2013, listening to my beautiful friend Erin Bell say (over a cone of Sebastian Joe's ice cream, of course!): "Syd, it's okay to say no to good things. You need balance. You need to live a full life and not an over-full life." Whoa. I've always been an overachiever, overplanner and type A + firstborn kind of girl. Erin's statement was EXACTLY the bold permission I needed to know that even with all the gold hearts I was spreading, my well was running dry. I needed balance. 

I started to turn my phone off and leave the phone at home. SHOCKING. I had a full-on anxiety attack the first time this happened. But, without the distraction of text messages, Instagram opportunities, tweets and emails, I walked outside my apartment door into THE WORLD. As in, birds chirping, trees blooming, sun shining. Of course I thought, "oh man, if I Instagrammed that #sunflare, I would get SO MANY LIKES." But immediately after, I smiled and remembered it in my MIND instead of my iPhone camera roll. Of course I don't keep my phone off during business hours and if a client emails, I respond appropriately. But us freelancers are people too. We have families and hobbies and lives that are begging to be lived to the fullest. 

So! In the next year, let's keep dreaming. EVEN BIGGER. Goal #1 is to continue watering this business and myself too. As you're reading this, I'm on a plane to California to photograph some fabulous families in the sunshine - I'm bringing this business coast to coast in 2013 and I couldn't be more excited! I'm simplifying my business model, increasing pricing and offering new session options for families. STAY TUNED!

In both business and real life, I am running a marathon. I'm seeking balance, longevity and a healthy lifestyle. I want to see this business SOAR and that means I've got to put my best self forward, right?

In running, it's about the preparation, the self-encouragement and setting the pace to endure the mileage - whether it's an easy 3 or a challenging 13. In real life, I'm set to run The Twin Cities Marathon, all 26.2 miles, come October 6th. Come cheer me on! I'd LOVE to see your face on the sidelines. 

Until then, I'll be photographing, editing, running, goal-setting, resting, dreaming and growing all summer long and I can't wait! I'm so honored you're on this journey with me. 

This is the life I was born to live - I'm convinced of this more every day that I meet more of you and we tell your story together. If we haven't met yet, know that I'd LOVE to have you along on the journey, because really? Life is way more fun with friends: cheering, dancing and eating cupcakes :)

xoxo,
Sydnee 

This blog is all about dreams: mine, yours and the ones we make come true. When we talked about this rebrand last year, I wanted the blog to be a place for sharing, learning and growing. Of course, I'm a photographer and this is a photography blog featuring my work. But on this Thursday and many to come, we'll be dreaming big together: telling stories, empowering each other and of course, I'll share some photos!

If there's a rule about this, I'm breaking it! In this journey, I have met so many inspiring, motivating people and I can't wait to introduce you to them! All these experiences have molded and shaped me and I've learned so much - I can't wait to share with all of you!

Some of these inspiring people are smiling at you right here (Hi Matt, Lindsay and Becky!):

My involvement with the Liz Logelin Foundation, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit that serves widows and widowers with young families, has taught me the importance of giving back, paying it forward and most of all? Inspiring others to do the same. After reading Matt's blog HERE over two years ago, I knew I had to get involved. It just tugs at your heart and you want to help however you can... so I did! After meeting Lindsay Lewis, LLF executive director, we bonded instantly and I am so proud to say that today? Lindsay is one of my dearest friends and such a supporter of all these big dreams. 

One of these dreams is to inspire and motivate people like YOU in the journey to living your best life. This can mean something big or small, but we all want to be around for as long as possible, right? Make that time the best you can! For some, this means trying something new every day. For some, this means lacing up those running shoes and pounding the pavement. If you've been to this blog before, you're familiar with my running story. But for those who don't know, here's the "Long Story Short" : My cousin challenged me to run a 5K with her in 2010 and having never ran more than a basketball court length in my life, I took her up on the challenge. I trained for months, ran my first 5K in June 2011 and haven't looked back. With each race number and free t-shirt worn, medal won and finish line crossed, I realized that there are not only physical benefits, but that running is what allows me the chance to decompress, to breathe and to focus on simply putting one foot in front of the other. 

So what do my crazy running adventures have to do with the LLF?

Coincidentally, Matt's wife Liz was a runner too. Matt told us that lots of her running adventures happened while he was away in India on an extended work trip - she ran to keep herself busy while he was gone, running at their home in LA and also here at home in Minneapolis. To honor Liz, the LLF hosts a 5K race each summer at Minnehaha Falls Park. This year, we're offering a 10K option too! Join us on June 8 and sign up HERE. Although this race happens here in Minneapolis, the LLF supporters live both near and far, so there's always the option to rally your friends and family together to "race around the world!" Because the LLF supports families, there's also Maddy's Mile - a one mile race for kids, my personal favorite aspect of this event! Look at these adorable cuties :)

For those runners in Minneapolis, Team Liz just launched TODAY, March 7th (7 was Liz's favorite number)!! Join us HERE on Facebook to get going! I know it's still a bit chilly here in Minneapolis to be running around the lakes, but once the ice melts, we hope to meet some of you at Lake Calhoun one Saturday a month until June 8 to run and walk together. Community matters, especially when you're starting something new - and we're here to help. Some of our friends from a variety of running abilities will be with us on these Saturday meet-ups to offer their own experiences and encouragement! Everyone from new moms + families with kids, experienced runners, young professionals and brand new runners are welcome! We can't wait to meet you! 

This is an excellent opportunity to prepare, train and cross the finish line together on June 8th. For some, the words train and run might be scary! I can relate, but trust me, I'll be there with you every step of the way. Every other Thursday on this little place in the Internet, I'll be sharing tips for how to get started, how to stay on track and everything in between! I have been waiting months to launch this series and I can't wait to jump in. I'll be introducing you to some of my favorite products, places and people who have helped me on my journey, in the hopes you'll be excited to start yours!

If you're in another city, I encourage you to find a local park and grab some friends - and post to the Facebook group so others can join you! 

Over the next few weeks, we'll talk about preparation: everything from which plan to follow according to your ability and schedule, to which shoes to wear and the perfect routes to run or what to eat before and after a workout (this is my favorite part!). Whether you're an experienced runner or a novice wondering what the heck that Couch-to-5K trend is all about, I promise we'll have fun! Because really, why do something if it's not fun? 

If you're curious about how to get started, sign up for Active.com's mailing list - they literally JUST sent me these Top 5 Tips for 5K Training! YAY! Go HERE and check it out :)

Side note: I LOVE fashion. So when I stepped into my local running store (Marathon Sports ROCKS!) and was fitted for my first pair of sneaks, I quickly found the perfect fit. But the shoe only came in blue. BLUE. Why couldn't I get the hot pink flashy ones on the wall? But I trusted the salesperson (I mean, I had NO CLUE about running at this point!) and after our first run together, I realized these BLUE sneakers were perfect for me. Turns out, they were right: "fit over fashion!" And wouldn't you know, I've gone back three times now and purchased the SAME EXACT BLUE PAIR of New Balance running shoes since then! Not to say I haven't compensated with overly bright and flashy running shorts + tops :) A girl has to look good, right?!

For those of you who are new here, I hope to see you back - don't be afraid to say HI! Leave a comment below and tell your story - ask questions, tell me what you want to know! Let's be in conversation and get TEAM LIZ off the ground - I am so excited to see what the next 3 months bring! LLF 5k/10k, here we come!

xoxo,
Sydnee 

DISCLAIMER: I'm not a licensed fitness professional, but I know people who are - and those dear friends will be making an appearance on the blog soon :) And as always, seek a medical professional's advice before starting any new routine or lifestyle change. I did - and frankly, it saved my life! More on that next week ;)

Hi there!

It's officially 2013 and whoa, do I have a lot to share - but first things first, thank you.

Because of all of YOU, 2012 was the best year yet, both personally and professionally. I made the big leap to full-time photography and almost immediately, business started booming and hasn't slowed down. I'm so incredibly grateful for all of you and the love you've spread on my behalf. Ya'll really should just pat yourselves on the back!

What does 2013 look like over here? Well, for one thing, it's big and bright and filled with glitter hearts! I'm filled with butterflies over what's going to be revealed in the coming weeks and months and I hope you are in for a really fun ride - I'll save room in the passenger seat for you, promise.

First things first, tomorrow I'm going to be debuting the images from Ben + Deirdre's wedding and be sure to scroll all the way down for an extra special dose of awesome. You won't want to miss this!!

Next up...you'll have to wait and see! What's to come is something I'm so so proud of - I can't wait to share it with you!

xoxo,
Syd 

Almost two months ago, I crossed the finish line of the Twin Cities 10 Mile in downtown St. Paul. Now that enough time is passed and my face is finally unfrozen, I can tell you all about it!

A year ago, when my cousin and I crossed the finish line of the TC 10k, I saw the bright shiny medals for the 10 mile and marathoners and instantly wanted one. One could almost say I coveted it. We all know my love for shiny sparkly things, so this should come as no surprise. So I set off to train and finally receive one. I strategized and did the TC 1 mile in the hopes of winning a spot in the 10 mile. And I did. I still have the screen shot of that email saved on my iPhone. What a great day that was! 

My dreams of earning a medal finally came true after a year of training and after blisters, a newfound love of running skirts and braving the cold wind of Lake Calhoun at 5 am, I got my medal. I've written a couple times about this running journey on this little blog but this time, I had big fish to fry. Alice and I had been training in cold weather for about three weeks before the race, but nothing hits you harder than a 17 degree wind downtown Minneapolis at 6:30 a.m. while you're standing in corral 1 (which, how in the heck was I chosen to be in the first group?!) waiting for 7:09 when the horn blows and you have to take off. 

Needless to say, I did it. Not without being so cold, I missed my mouth at the first water stop and spilled an entire cup of blue Gatorade on myself. In a white shirt. The entire race, I thought everyone was staring at me in horror. "Look at that crazy girl with the blue-stained shirt! She's crazy!" I was a little crazy! 

What kept me going? That medal but also the people at the finish line waiting for me. Last year, my grandparents drove from South Dakota to see me at the finish line of the 10K. Which my Gram told everyone in their hometown was actually a marathon. If that doesn't boost your confidence, I'm not sure what will! This year, they were at the finish line again and she was sure to tell people that this race was 10 miles but that's basically like a marathon (just minus 16.2 miles is all). 

I crossed the finish line and spotted my Dad with iPhone posed and ready to take those coveted finish line shots. I saw my grandparents clapping and my Mom beaming. And I pretty much lost it. I wanted to hug the person who gave me my medal. I wanted to kiss the person who gave me the heat blanket. And I wanted to high five the person who gave me my finishers t-shirt. Emotions were high and that smile in front of the banner? Totally, 100% genuine endorphines. Amazing. I'm not sure why, but the TC Marathon peeps chose that photo of me to advertise the race photos in an email. I almost choked on my protein shake when I saw that! What an honor!

Best moment of the race experience? When my Dad stole my medal the next day and had it engraved with my finishers time: 1:32:46 and "Great Job Syd." I look at that medal every morning and grin. 

A major part of this running experience that has kept me going is the support and encouragement I've received from all of you - the high fives and the hugs and the compliments and the emails and congratulatory text messages and tweets after every race. When I'm up at 5 am and putting on all these layers and crazy socks with hearts and chevron stripes and leopard spots (thanks, Target!), I remember your words and that's what gets me out there. Plus, the thought of wearing a moustache during a 5K with your friends is pretty awesome!

I run not only to feel better, to finally have reached (and crushed!) my goal weight after 3 years of workouts and training sessions, to fit into those jeans I never would have dreamed would fit, but I run because I want to stick around. I've been so blessed to live this life - a life I dreamed about living for so long - that I want to enjoy every second of it. I want to be that photographer who's 65 and still working as hard as when she was 25. I don't want to look back and wonder what if. I want to keep making goals and checking them off my list. 

Goals and dreams are different for all of us. Mine are different from yours, but maybe they're similiar. Either way, I want to support you in your dreams too! This post is the beginning of a series of personal posts that come straight from my gold glitter heart. And I encourage you to respond in the comments section with whatever your goals and dreams are - let's talk about them! Let's be encouragers of each other and hopefully, we'll make 2013 the best year yet. 

In 2013, I will run a marathon. I'm making this declaration here and now. What will YOU do in 2013 that you've never done before?

One of my 2013 brides, Meaghan, was gracious enough to offer a discount code for this race on January 1, 2013. I'd love to hear what you're making a commitment to in 2013, so leave a comment on this blog or the Facebook page and next Monday, I'll choose 3 winners! Join us in making a commitment to a healthier lifestyle!

xoxo,
syd

Whoa! How did this happen?

Welcome to my brand-new, shiny, sparkly home on the Internet! Isn't it the most beautiful thing you've ever seen?!

Some of you might have come here today because you received the newsletter - yay! Welcome! 
Some of you might have come here because your friend at the office can't stop raving about their family photos earlier this fall - Welcome!

I've been a busy bee preparing for this day and I have so many people to thank for helping make these dreams come true:

All this newness you see here is brought to you by the ever-lovely Rae Danneman of Rae Alexis Design. I can't thank her enough for all her patience over the last few months - she took everything I love about my brand and expanded it, threw some glitter over it and made it shine. Every time I look at my new cards, my new packaging and this website, I get a little verklempt and my heart swells. Thank you, Rae, for seeing the beauty in this little business and spending so much time making sure it looks just right.

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I'd been Internet-stalking her for months and with a push from my bestie Hannah, I finally said hello in January. From that instant on, Melissa Oholendt joined Team Syd and we haven't looked back. She's been so supportive and awesome throughout this year of changes and big steps. We played around in downtown Minneapolis one night during the golden hour and captured the images you'll find in my new brand. We both love design, confetti, sparkly glitter and peach roses - what could be better? Thank YOU, Melissa!

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Try as I might, I don't always look this cute. Trust me! But at least my hair is always cute, courtesy of my amazing hair stylist Lydia over at Salon Rox - she's been with me for 5 years now and those bangs? Her idea. The makeup in these new photos? Her idea. See? I can't take credit for this sweetness! 

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My networking attempts quickly turned into friendworking successes and to all the photographers, artists, creatives, business guys and gals, family, friends and dreamers I met with over the last year - thank you. Those words are never enough to express my gratitude for your asking the hard questions, the ones that really tugged at my heart and got me thinking. And even better? You've got me believing that dreams really do come true.

Here's the backstory on my re-branding process:

I realized very quickly about a year ago that I am not a graphic designer. I'm a photographer, a dreamer and a creative person but I don't know the first thing about how to create something from scratch. And I needed new business cards desperately. And while we're at it, why not a new website and let's get that packaging situation squared away too! I contacted Rae and after meeting once, she came up with the heart idea. It took a little while for me to get used to it but once I really did the homework from Making Things Happen, I realized how much I really love LOVE. 

Love is the beginning and the end of everything I do. It's the thing that keeps me interested in telling stories. The love between a newly engaged couple that's positively giddy in the planning process of their wedding. The love between a new mom and dad cradling their newborn for the first time at home. The love in the eyes of parents watching their son or daughter read from the Torah at their mitzvah. 

I've spent a lot of time with images in the last year. My friends and family can attest to this because I haven't been around much. This sounds strange, but I've spent hours editing your images to ensure that each one captures your love story. With as much time as your images and I have spent together, we've decided one thing:

I'm only shooting weddings, mitzvahs and families.

This was not an easy decision to make because I adore all my clients, no matter what the job. But my heart is with these families who ask me to be a part of the big events and the small ones too. 

I believe that families make the world go round and every stage of life should be photographed. Recently, I've realized how incredibly short life can be - and in the end, all we have are our memories. If I can be there to give you those memories on film, then I will be! I'm so blessed by my clients who, 10 times out of 10, turn out to be my friends at the end of the session. I want to tell the story of who and what you love. And in order for me to do this, I need to refocus and center my time investing in these weddings, these mitzvahs and all my amazing families. 

And just when we thought I couldn't get enough of all that family love, I'm offering another mini session date! These sessions are open to couples and families. 

Sunday, November 18th from 9 am to 3 pm - just in time for holiday card orders! Bring your kiddos, your cutie husband or wife and let's make magic - I'll have some fun props (holiday and non holiday) and we'll capture that perfect image to send out to all your peeps for the holidays!

This session comes with a bonus: my advice and design for the cards - what could be better? I take the photo, design the card and all you have to do is lick the stamps!

It's all the fun and fabulousness of a full session - but mini! The sessions will take place at my NE Mpls studio and in 30 minutes, we'll create 10 amazing high-resolution images that I'll send you later on a DVD for you to print to your heart's content. I'll bring treats - you bring your awesome! And to top all of this? The price is $200 and includes a pack of 25 cards. What a steal!

Email me sydnee@sydneebickett.com to book and I'll let you know what times are available. It's first come, first serve. Session times are every hour on the hour from 10 am to 3 pm (i.e. 10am, 11am, etc). This means there's only 6 chances to get those photos in before it's too late! I'll send you a note as soon as your session fee is paid with all the info you'll need. 

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I'm also going to be starting new projects in the next few months, including a vendor spotlight with all my favorite people and places in Minneapolis and beyond. The ladies I mentioned earlier? You'll see them again soon here :)

Another project? A style + fitness + healthy lifestyle spotlight. If you're new here, you might not know that I run. A lot. I've spent the last year of my life devoted to living a healthy lifestyle because frankly, I want to be here for a while. A long while. So I started running and suddenly, everyone wants to know about it! You all have asked questions about training, about where to find the best races and about (my personal favorite) what to wear! All your questions will be answered soon, I promise.

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In case you're in the area and want to experience the new brand in person and with sparkly newness, spot on over to the Jewish Community Center Gift & Celebration Showcase (more info here) at the Marriott Minneapolis Southwest on Sunday, November 4 from 11:30 am to 3 pm. Yours truly will be there with a brand new album sample, some friendly faces in picture frames and the best part? GOLD FOIL CHOCOLATE HEARTS. I mean, that alone should get you there on Sunday :)

Stay tuned in the coming weeks to meet all the fabulous families I've been working with - I hope you love them as much as I do! There are still a few things to tweak and adjust, but isn't she beautiful?!

And thank you again. From the bottom of my (brand new!) golden heart.

xoxo,
syd 


Is it mid-September already?! Something that rings constant in this favorite season of mine is the annual Celebration of Hope Gala for the Liz Logelin Foundation. I first blogged about this amazing non-profit HERE. To this day, this blog post remains the highest viewed post on my site. I'm so blessed by this and hope it's done its part to spread the love!


This year, I've become even more involved in this organization and helped to plan the 5K race in June alongside executive director Lindsay Lewis, one of my favorite people on the planet. After a whirlwind spring, this event came up quickly and in a blink of an eye, it was over. But not without tugging at my heart strings and the hearts of so many others. Not to mention helping a lot of families who needed to be reminded they were not alone in their experience.

This week, I've been running around non-stop for the gala and I honestly wish there were more hours in the day to do even more work and help even more. Helping to compile quotes from our recipients and photos they've sent of their smiling faces, with quotes from our supporters and the reasons why they give, my heart is so full. 

This week, there's no place I'd rather be than surrounded by piles of gift baskets and donations by amazing companies and businesses, working on powerpoints and donation websites and putting together programs and assembling frames. Because I'm surrounded by a handful, a dozen, even more people who are all committed to the same thing: giving hope.

You can still get a ticket to attend. Please come and bid on amazing items, listen to heart-filling stories, drink and eat and be changed for the better. I'll be there with my camera and you'll be there with your awesomeness. We'd love to see you! And Matt promises to take a photo with you. He doesn't know it yet, but he will. He's just that cool.

 

xoxo,
syd 

There are big great awesome fabulous things ahead in the next month over in this part of the Internet. Things including photos you've never seen, stories you haven't heard yet and honesty with integrity. And the best part? Everything will be wrapped up in this cute little package I can't wait to share.

But before all that goodness, it's time for things to get real, folks.

Here's where that honesty part comes in.

Life, sometimes, is hard.

Shocking concept, I know. And this is not a moment of complaining or negativity or any of that. It's a moment, a series of moments, when God literally knocked me to my knees because things had been going so well (yay!), that I sort of forgot to thank the giver of the goodness.

This moment came when I picked up a brand new member of my Apple family (Hi Sheila!), only to go back to the car to bring her home and the ignition on my twelve year-old car was locked up. Or something. I've never claimed to be a mechanic but I'm really good at describing all things car-related. Sort of. Regardless, it didn't start and I was stranded. On one of those really hot days. Mmmhm. I love heat!

But then this funny thing happened when everything that was going wrong suddenly started to reveal a silver lining, piece by piece. I called my Mom, because what else do you do when things go wrong? She worked close by, so she gave me a ride home. I called my mechanic and they got the key in the ignition again. I needed a car and Dad said to use his. I had friends sending up prayers on my behalf at the drop of a text. And then there's Sheila, who came with a promise to make work a lot easier and more accessible.

And at the end of the day, I learned to let go and let God. His plan is so much bigger and grander and more awesome than anything I could ever dream to put together. Even with the help of Sheila,  my Russel & Hazel stationary set and Pinterest, I could never style anything this cool. Just when our trust in Him starts to wane and wander, He's right there to remind us to just keep on keepin' on.

Hats off to God, to his awesome plan and to the fact that at the end of the day, we're just really blessed.

xoxo,
syd

source: southern charm

 

 

June 17, 2007: I shot my first wedding. As in, a bride and a groom hired me to document the most important day of their life together. I remember this day like it was two seconds ago: sitting in a Caribou Coffee in Bloomington, across from two friends from high school and they looked at each other, looked at me and said "well, as long as you'll be there shooting for fun, why don't we just pay you?"

My jaw dropped. I've never really won anything in my life, but this felt like the feeling you'd probably get if you realized you won the lottery. They were asking me to do this big huge important job? A "job" I already was going to do for the pure fun and love of doing it.

Without hesitation, I said yes.

And really, my life has never been the same since.

I'm saying YES to leaving a world of cubicles, 8-5 hours and business suits.

I'm saying YES to living my dream of being a real life, full time professional photographer starting NOW!!!!!!

[insert about a billion cartwheels, high-fives, gigantic vertical jumps and smiles so big even your gums hurt]

Now, let it be known that this is not a decision I've entered into lightly. I've prepared, I've planned, I've financially planned... but all of that aside? I've been dreaming. A lot. I've held onto this "secret" for about the last few months and slowly but surely, enacting plans to make things happen. But the journey isn't over. It's only just beginning! There are a lot of stories and sessions left to share, a brand new look to this bizz and you. You all are the key to making this dream soar.

This secret is one that has been met with the most amazing butterflies and encouragement from everyone I share it with. To all of those people whose eyes lit up and a big smile spread across their face when I heard them say "well, it's about time!" or "we are so proud of you!" or "this is your dream and now you're going to chase it 24/7!" I want to say thank you.

Thank you a million times over for every hug, every encouraging email, every countdown reminder... your endless support and love has propelled me to confidence that this is, in fact, the right choice. You are all a part of Team Syd. Thanks for cheering me on.

A few people have asked me if I was nervous about making the transition, if it was a smart choice in this economy or if I did in fact have enough business to sustain myself. My answer was a never-wavering, ever-constant: "Why would I be nervous about doing something I was born to do?"

God put this dream in my heart a long long time ago, maybe even before 2007 but it's taken me this long (and He's been working even longer!) to realize it. To trust. To have faith. To really truly know. And it's with this confidence that I'm moving forward, in faith and with Team Syd behind me cheering me on.

And there's no place I'd rather be. Thank you.

xoxo,
syd

ps. Thank you to the lovely Maria for snapping these crazy shots of me a few weeks ago in Nevada. Thank you for believing in me since 2009 and keeping me accountable to this dream. Your new Team Syd t-shirt is in the mail soon, along with one for Ian and doggy shirts for the girls too :)