Guess what day it is!
It’s Wednesday. Nothing special…
Happy Wednesday friends. I’ve been doing better with my planner again this week. I looked at it MONDAY this week. That’s an improvement from the week before… when I didn’t open it until Wednesday :-X I’ve also made some good headway on my new home office space. I am so excited to have it all done and share it – most importantly, I can’t wait to start hosting client meetings here and review sessions! We will still keep our studio space in Tustin for our Shy Heart Studios clients of course, but going forward I will be meeting my BC & Co. clients in my home office over a glass of wine, in my new adorable little space. It will be awesome!
Point being – I am meeting my goals and have been more organized than ever before. You know what is helping besides my planner? My accountability partner Annie! We have been having weekly meetings where we talk about what we accomplished the week before, and discuss our goals for the next week. We give each other feedback and advice over lunch and it has been so helpful keeping us each on track. I highly recommend it. Whatever your goals are, whether they are business goals, money saving goals, weight loss goals – get yourself an accountability partner! Chat with them every week over lunch or over the phone. It REALLY helps keep you on track.
Ok – onto some beautiful wedding photography. Last month I had the pleasure of photographing Michelle & Christian’s wedding at The Retreat in Corona. It was a hot day, as usual this summer (anyone else’s electric bill threatening to give them a heart attack yet?) but these two were amazing all day. Their wedding party was top notch… everywhere Michelle went, the bridesmaids and groomsmen were there to help her with her dress, keep her hydrated and make sure she had what she needed. We could see and feel how loved this beautiful couple was everywhere we looked that day.
Take a peak…
Aren’t they the cutest!? Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Jackson!
For more information on wedding photography in Orange County or the surrounding areas… or anywhere else your little heart desires… please visit http://www.briannacaster.com and send me a message!
If you guessed that I would completely neglect my planner by week two, you’d be 50% correct. It’s Wednesday and I opened it for the first time this week about an hour ago….
I don’t really have any excuses except for that I let things distract me this week. It happens, right? Despite not opening my planner, I did book two new weddings this week AND I’m even posting my blog already and it’s Wednesday. So it’s not all that bad, right? This is my last working day of the week because tomorrow I have my niece and nephew all day (I always take Thursdays off for them!) and then Friday I am leaving for Lake Havasu for the weekend. But I’m going to pretend that it didn’t take until my last working day of the week to open my planner and say that I did it mid-week. K?
Is it Friday yet? I want to be in Havasu now… on the water, ice cold beverage in hand, soaking up the sun and cool water with friends and family…. So distracted.
ANYWAY… I’m keeping it short this week friends… so that I can get back to the task list I created for the last 3 days just one hour ago. Time to catch up on all that I didn’t do this week 😀
Today I’m sharing my adorable couple Megan & Austin from the hottest day in California history in I don’t even know how long… but longer than I’ve been alive for sure. Out in Jurupa Valley where we began our prep, the temperature peaked at 118!!! They were absolute troopers all day long. They didn’t complain at all – they were amazing. The groom and groomsmen were full black suits and it was still 110 when their ceremony started. I am still in awe of their positive attitudes.
Take a look at their crazy hot day…
And yes… the last photo are of some loaded hot dogs. Megan & Austin are huge baseball fans… so they had a hot dog bar open up at the end of the night. Their guests loved it!
For more information on booking a wedding photographer in Orange County, or for any other questions – please visit my website at http://www.briannacaster.com and shoot me a message.
Insert Evil Laugh Here.
I’m not actually going to tell you my Master Plan. Sorry…. this is more about my issues with organization.
For the most part I am a fairly organized person. People who know me consider me to be a very organized person… But step into my office and you’ll see… I’m not as organized as you might think. I LIKE to be organized. I LIKE things to be neat and orderly. I LOVE working with deadlines. I am VERY good at working from home and getting ish DONE on a daily basis. BUT… if I see a squirrel I might chase it for hours and then get nothing done.
Most of the time I set goals and meet them left and right… but if you sat down at my desk, on an average day you’d see 3 different notebooks all with equally important “to-do” lists or idea’s and no rhyme or reason for them being in different notebooks, two stacks of post-it notes, 5 post-it’s stuck to my desk with notes on them, two stuck to my computer screen, and at least one stuck on the wall next to me, notes scribbled on the back of check stubs and torn open envelopes, and don’t even get me STARTED on my desk top…. Some days I get anxiety just looking at it. Most days I get a little anxiety just walking into my office space because it is NOT organized neatly. Whenever people come to my house I close my office doors (which are french doors that you can see right through, so why do I even bother closing them?) and apologize for my chaotic office space and plead with them not to judge me. To which they respond, “Oh please. It’s not even that bad.” Oh Please? YOU “oh please” – it’s ridiculous. Stop lying to me. The rest of my house, however, is always neat and orderly. My workspace though… I should probably hire a professional organizer to get my life on track. That’s not a bad idea actually… Recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
Point being – I am TRYING to turn over a new leaf. I BOUGHT A PLANNER you guys. The pessimistic cartoon on my right shoulder laughed so hard at me when I bought it, that she nearly fell off my shoulder and broke both of her legs. She not-so-kindly reminded me that I’ve been down this road before… I used the planner for a week, and then stopped using it. I went through that cycle more than once when I was in college… Truth be told – I love adorable notebooks with cute phrases or funny sayings on the front (“Hello Beautiful”, “Those who seek Beauty will find it”, “All good things are Wild & Free”, “Hustle is my Middle Name”, “She believed she could, so she did” are just a few of the notebooks I own… none of them are full). So yeah, when I saw this notebook that says, “MASTER PLAN 2019” on it – I had to have it. When I realized it was a PLANNER, I almost put it back. Whether it was my desire for another cute notebook despite it being an ORGANIZED calendar notebook, unlike my regular blank pages with lines notebooks (where I can scribble ANYTHING!)… or it was the Optimist in me trying to convince me that I CAN stick to a planner and use it to my advantage… OR if that was just the excuse I told myself… I can’t be sure. But I listened to the optimistic cartoon on my left shoulder as she encouraged me to buy the planner and give it the old “college try.”
So here I am, on the Trying-To-Be-More-Organized-Project Day 1. After many internal discussions with both cartoons during my walk with Shylo today, I decided that I will use my planner for GOALS rather than appointments. I will write my daily and weekly goals in it for my business. The issue I had in the past was that I have always put all of my appointments in my phone and set a reminder for them, and it just felt redundant writing it in a notebook and putting it in my phone, and then I felt too paranoid about missing something in one of them and didn’t want to have to check two sources all the time. SO, I will keep my appointments and events in my phone… and I will put my goals and daily tasks in my planner. Maybe it will work. Or maybe next weeks blog will be about how I tore it to shreds and burned it in the middle of the street while I slow-motion walked away from it. Either way – I’m trying! My main goal for the week is to get my entire office space ready for a complete overhaul. I’m getting rid of furniture and transforming the space entirely. I can’t wait to unveil it. Hopefully this new leaf I’ve turned over will prove to be worthy of the $8.00 I spent on it.
Wish me luck… And follow my instagram story to help keep me accountable weekly. And then check out this adorable engagement session at Mission San Juan Capistrano:
But seriously… wish me luck!
For more information on booking (I PROMISE I’m insanely organized when it comes to photographing weddings) wedding photography or to see more work, please visit http://www.briannacaster.com
Ever have one of those dumb idiot moments where you feel like you have been caught with your pants down? Like, “Wow man… I really should have known better.” One of those kind? But in front of clients or people you’re supposed to look super duper professional in front of?
Well that’s me – more often than I’d like to admit. I can be kind of an airhead… I’ll admit it. Thankfully, while being a total airhead at times – I can still snag some awesome photos.
Tuesday was one of those days for me. I photograph engagement sessions at Little Corona Beach in Newport / Corona Del Mar… ALL. OF. THE. TIME. Whenever a client wants a beach session, I recommend this one because it’s beautiful and there isn’t a required permit to photograph there.
For beach sessions, and any session really – I always like to try to get the golden hour if it works with everyone’s schedule. That doesn’t always happen, but most of the time it does. Apparently though, I have never photographed in the summer during golden hour at Little Corona Beach becaaaauuuuuse, my dumbass did NOT for one second consider the tide coming in at that hour. Oopsie poopsie! At any other beach that’s not much of an issue… but at this beach you have to walk down a really big hill to get to this little gem, which is a cove. So when you get down to the sand from this hill there are a lot of rocks and the sand leads up to the walls of this cove, if you will. Can you picture what I’m saying? If not, you’ll see it in a moment.
ANYWAY… We all arrived early and decided to go have a cocktail (or in Nikki’s case, a shot of vodka – YAS Queen) and chat. Kyle had me laughing hysterically throughout our cocktail hour and I knew it was going to be a great shoot. At 6:30 it was time to head down to the sand and wouldn’t you know it… the tide was not only high… but it was covering 90% of the beach where I like to shoot. In my head I thought, “Eff You See Kay – what am I going to do?” I was kicking myself for not even THINKING about the tide, but I have LITERALLY never gone down to the beach and seen the tide THIS high. I was in shock.
Thankfully Nikki & Kyle are cool as hell and were game to run around each bend I asked them to, to try to get in some little nooks where the water only hit us when the waves crashed… which at certain times had the water literally up to my hips (good thing I wore shorts!). As the waves receded, we would run for it. I felt reassured that I was not the only photographer out there running with clients to avoid crashing waves. We even saw a pregnant lady running during her maternity shoot… That made me look LESS like an airhead photographer I think 🙂
All in all… we had a blast together. I couldn’t have asked for a cooler couple to be screwed by the tide with. Check out how much fun we had…
Note to self for future beach sessions: check the tide before scheduling.
For more information on how you too can experience my airhead ways and get some super fun engagement or wedding photos… check out my website at http://www.briannacaster.com and drop me a line!
Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @briannacaster for silly stories, and photo inspiration.
Hi, my name is Brianna and I’ve been a control freak for most of my life… I’m working my way through Control Freaks Anonymous…
Actually I’d say I’m getting better as I get older. My husband and family might disagree… I don’t know. I haven’t asked… but I feel like I’m becoming more of a “go with the flow” kind of person because in my business you have to. There are things I can control about what I do, but there is a LOT that is completely out of my hands. That’s hard for me because I want everyone’s wedding day to be perfect, but it’s the nature of this business.
I do a pretty good job of just embracing all of the chaos and making the most of it. I am not afraid to play in the rain with my couples if they aren’t… I will pull 50 people out of a reception room for a formal photo because a relative arrived late if it’s what my couple really wants… I am game for all of it. I think I find the most sadness at weddings when couples are stressed out or unhappy because certain details aren’t going as planned.
I’m going to keep this blog short and to the point today… News Flash: your wedding will not be perfect if you hold it to impossible standards. It WILL be perfect if you go with the flow, embrace or ignore the crazy, laugh at the chaos, marry the love of your life, and walk out holding hands at the end of the night smiling. I know we all want to control it all and make sure every little detail is perfect… but I encourage you to find the perfection in the imperfection and just enjoy every moment you can. If some details don’t fall together perfectly… in the words of Elsa… LET IT GOOOO, LET IT GOOOO! And enjoy it all anyway… because you put way too much time, effort and money into this to NOT enjoy it regardless of what goes wrong… and if at the end of the day you’re still married to your best friend – that’s all that matters.
Enjoy this little overcast beach session for Sammy & Alex’s engagement:
Now to turn on the air conditioning because 90+ degree heat requires it.
For more information on engagement and wedding photography in Orange County or around the country… world… whatever… check out our website and drop us a line at http://www.briannacaster.com
This is honestly the best advice I can offer people running their own business. I want to get it on a t-shirt…
I’ve probably ranted about this before, but I’m going to rant about it again. Sure, you can be the worlds greatest at what you do… You can have a service or product that stands apart from everyone else in your industry – something REALLY unique and fantastic… But if you’re a dick… all the talent in the world can’t make you successful. People don’t like assholes.
Where is this stemming from, you ask? Let me tell you…
As you know… I run a business. As you also might know, I am pretty determined to succeed. I work really hard. I am always making friends in my industry, educating myself and learning new things about marketing… You have heard me lament about how hard it is to succeed on Instagram. The world of IG has become so saturated that there are constantly new rules and guidelines that none of us know about, being implemented. When we find out about them, it’s usually after being shadow blocked for unknowingly breaking one of the new rules. Not super fair, right? But it is what it is… I’ve tried many things when it comes to marketing, and one of the things I am trying now is a company that helps you grow your instagram account. No it is NOT buy followers… it’s a company that does what I simply don’t have time to do… which is going around instagram and interacting for me so that my posts are seen more frequently, and people (REAL PEOPLE) begin to follow me because I am more active.
One of the things this company does on my Shy Heart Studios instagram (@shy_heart_studios) is sends a new message to every single follower. The message is created by me, but they send it to all of the new people who come my way welcoming them, thanking them for their follow, and letting them know that they can ask us any questions about our services. Simply, and lovely, right? It’s a GREAT tool because it actually gets people responding and often asking questions. We’ve even booked people thanks to this tool… all because it automatically sends a message, and then we get to start a REAL conversation when they reply.
We still control all of our material, and everything that gets posted. This does not completely automate our instagram accounts.
Anyway… this morning I got a nasty reply from a fellow wedding photographer:
“@shy_heart_studios did you even look at my account? What booking or services do you think I’ll have questions about? I’m just trying to support other vendors with a follow. Seems like you just fired off a generic message you send every new follower.”
I sent this sassy retort:
“Sure did. It’s a marketing program I use… it helps our business grow in the hopes that it can start conversations with potential clients… Saying hello and being friendly, generic or not, is actually quote effective and we’ve booked business from it. You could have simply replied politely… or ignored our message. No need to be rude about it. Photographers often need other photographers since we can’t photograph ourselves… So I don’t see the harm in sending the same message to all of my new followers.”
I doubt the ended up seeing that reply because after some more thought, I chose to block them all together.
Here’s the thing you guys… This person was obviously offended and felt the need to call me out for using a generic message. I did check out their page… and then their website. They have about half of the following that we have on our IG account, and their website is pretty terrible. It looks to me like they are pretty new to the world of professional photography… and they just burned a bridge with someone who is NOT new to this industry, and could have shared a wealth of helpful knowledge with them.
If they had written to me and said, “Hi @shy_heart_studios – I’m also a photographer, and not in need of photography services at this time, but I noticed it seems like you sent a generic message that you probably send to all of your new followers. Is that accurate? If so, how did you do that? Has it been successful in helping you book clients?” they would have instantly gained a friend in the industry and an ally who could help them in this difficult world of navigating social media in order to grow your business. I have been at this a long time and have a lot of knowledge to share with others. Instead, they wrote me a snarky message in an attempt to “call me out” on something I have no shame about… because it’s actually a SMART marketing tool… and I blocked them, and I will not forget the name of their company. I’d also like to point out that they claimed to want to “support other vendors with a follow” – how does following another vendor help them when you send them a message with the intention to shame them? Seems counter productive to me.
I have a lot of friends who are photographers. Sure, one could look at them as my competition, but I do not. I look at them as friends who I can help, and who can help me. When we learn new things about marketing or industry and networking events, we share it with each other. We help each other grow. I have learned time and time again in this industry that being an asshole might help you for a while… You might get to the top more quickly than others by stepping on people on your way up… But when no one is left that wants to support you because you’ve stepped on all of them, when you begin to fall – no one will reach out to grab your hand… and the rest of us… we’ll still get to the top.
So succeed by being kind and helpful. Don’t be an asshole. That’s my PSA for today.
Onto some lovely photos of a lovely couple… Andrea & James are the sweetest. Check out their engagement session at Oak Canyon Nature Center:
Be kind to others you guys… Make friends… don’t burn bridges.
For more information on how NOT to be an asshole, or for information on photography services, please feel free to visit http://www.briannacaster.com or http://www.shyheartstudios.com and send us a message! Follow both of my photography brands on Instagram @briannacaster for my BC & Co. Photographers brand and @shy_heart_studios for my wonderful team of talented photographers.
With love and kindness,
I almost went three weeks in a row without posting a blog. I’m kind of disappointed in myself to be honest… For an entire year I blogged every week! Then I fell off the wagon… but I’m getting back on!! See? Here I am! Hi.
In my defense, I was out of the country for an entire week – so that week doesn’t count. The second week, I just plain forgot. No excuse there… today I was in the middle of working on an edit, and stopped to write this post… Maybe I shouldn’t admit that. Oh well.
Anyway – here we are… already creeping up on the end of June. Today is the official FIRST DAY OF SUMMER and the weather is fantastic! At least here in Southern California it is… wherever you’re reading from, if your weather sucks… come visit 🙂 We’re killing it over here in SoCal.
I love this time of year! The mornings are crisp, the afternoons are warm, and the evenings are cool. I get to play in the pool with my niece and nephew again, enjoy concerts in the park with friends and family, BBQ and just be out doors. It is a real struggle to stay inside and buckle down for work when the weather is so perfect. I want to play hooky every day right now. But I don’t, because I’m a good girl, and I got shit to do! But I will sneak away for an afternoon stroll with my pup when I’m done with this post… I have to enjoy it before we creep back up into the 90’s and triple digits…
So I’m going to keep it short this week guys. Can you believe it? Partly because I don’t have anything fun to talk about… but also partly because the sooner I’m done the sooner I can scoot on outside and walk in the beautiful sunshine.
I hope you’re enjoying your summer! And I hope you enjoy this gorgeous wedding at The Retreat in Corona from last month! Kimberly & Alejandro had a beautiful intimate wedding. I loved working with them… they were sweet, funny and oh so relaxed all day. How could I ask for more? Enjoy! And do yourselves a favor… get out and enjoy the sunshine as much as possible. If you’re stuck in an office, I am sorry… but take a walk anyway – enjoy it. Smile at the sun, and forget your worries for a moment today! Even if you can only sneak away for 10 minutes – do it!
Happy Summer everyone!
For more information on wedding photography in orange county – please visit my website and say hello! Also – don’t forget to follow me on the gram @briannacaster
Love you bye!
I love to travel. Sometimes I find it funny that the older I get, the more I want to capture every little moment. When I first started out doing photography, I’d leave my camera at home unless I was working… I wanted a break. I didn’t want to see everything through a lens. Now, I never want to put it down. I want to photograph the earth in all of it’s earthly beauty as much as I want to capture the moments of people I love laughing and enjoying life… and as much as I want to capture my clients on their biggest day.
I’m leaving the country next week and am debating on bringing my camera. I want to bring it SO badly but I also hesitate because of safety… but I know the entire time I’m there I will wish I had my camera if I DON’T bring it. So we shall see what I decide… the debate will continue in my head until the day I leave… Those are the inner struggles of a travel loving, adventure seeking, beauty capturing photographer.
Sometimes I’m super extra lucky and I get paid to travel with my camera! The beautiful bride pictured below is Whitney. She and I met when she worked at a venue that my team is a preferred vendor for. She was a wedding coordinator there. Shortly after I met, she told me she had a friend who had just moved from Tulsa and was looking for a photography job. She sent me her phone number and I asked her to join me for coffee to talk photography. Laci and I became fast friends and she worked for me for about a year until moving back home to Tulsa. I was beyond sad to see her go because I adored her, loved working with her, and she had proven to be an integral part of my team… AND one of the first photographers I hired (after my darling Elaine) when I began growing my team.
After Laci broke my heart and left me… we stayed in touch. She traveled with me to New York for a wedding, she traveled out to my wedding in South Carolina, and every time she comes back to California we pick up where we left off. All the while, I continued of course, to build my relationship with Whitney. Whitney told me from very early on, long before she met Ryan – that she would want me to photograph her wedding one day. It always made me warm and fuzzy inside. When she finally met the love of her life (about 3 years after she and I met) she started talking about me photographing her wedding again and I was thrilled. Whitney & Ryan got engaged just before the holidays last year and married last weekend in Tulsa, Oklahoma where Whitney is from.
I have said it before and I will say it again… when people in the wedding industry ask ME to capture THEIR wedding… the compliment is ten fold. They work with so many photographers and have so many options, and when they choose little ‘ol me… my heart explodes. It was a true honor to capture Whitney & Ryan’s wedding at Spain Ranch in Oklahoma. Take a look (and see if you spot me & Laci):
The amazing team for this wedding included:
Venue: Spain Ranch
Coordination: Marissa Pascarella (fun fact, I also photographed her wedding!)
Floral: Crooked Roots Design
Catering: Catering by Orr
Bakery: Laurannae Baking Co.
Photo Booth: Oh Snaps
Video: ByDesign Films
Arbor: J & L Tables
DJ: Lions Road
Lighting: Integrity Lighting
For more information on booking YOUR destination wedding photography (TAKE ME ANYWHERE!) please reach out via http://www.briannacaster.com
It is not lost on me that running my own business has some serious perks. One of my favorite perks is that I get to sit in my home office with two of my best friends jamming out to Michael Jackson, Kesha, or whatever other random stuff we feel like listening to…. while drinking coffee in yoga pants / workout clothes post workout, pre-shower as gross as can be without being judged… AND edit or write blog posts. And yes that’s an exact description of what’s happening right now. Shylo is here too… laying on the floor looking at us like she’s bored. But hey – as long as she doesn’t randomly decide to pee on my living room floor today, it’s a win (yes – she did that yesterday).
It is also not lost on me that I get to work with some of the coolest people ever. My team is full of incredible women (and MEN! We love you Antonio!), and our clients are THE. BEST. I wont lie to you – I don’t connect and become BFF’s with every client… as much as I want to because I’m a believer that you can never have too many friends. I do always have a great repore with my clients – but they don’t ALL follow me on IG or friend me FB and that’s ok. But when our personalities mesh harmoniously and we giggle together through our engagement session I leave on cloud 9 totally in love with my couples. Not only do I become even more thrilled to capture their wedding, but I get all the warm fuzzies inside and love being able to stay connected and watch their beautiful lives unfold together through social media. The best compliment is when they come back to me for their friends weddings, or their next life milestone. NOTHING feels better than being asked to capture their milestones time and time again.
Yes, this is all a segway into telling you how much I freaking LOVE Shyia & Alex!!!!! Guess where they found me you guys… INSTAGRAM! They saw my styled shoot at Rancho Las Lomas which took the cover and a four page spread in Ceremony Magazine which then got shared by Rancho Las Lomas – and reached out…. and the rest is history. I sincerely loved every moment with them. Shyia literally had sunshine shooting out of her from every angle when I showed up at Rancho Las Lomas to begin capturing their day. That’s the best way to describe her… she is the kind of girl that literally lights up every single room she walks into with her beautiful smile and warm, bubbly personality. Alex is the same – his bright smile and calm friendly demeanor will make you feel welcome from the moment he greets you. If I did my job right (and I think I did…) you can see their personalities in every image. We were absolutely oozing with love and uncontrollable googely eyes all day over these two and their families. Take a look:
I know – it’s a lot of images… but I couldn’t help myself. I rarely can if you haven’t noticed.
We had a team of amazing vendors including one of the best bands I’ve ever heard at a wedding! Everyone worked seamlessly together to pull of the perfect day for Shyia & Alex.
Venue: Rancho Las Lomas
Planning: Jenna at Engaged Events
Photography: Brianna Caster & Co. Photographers
Floral: Parker & Posies
Beauty: Vanity Belle
Band: de Bois Entertainment
Catering: 24 Carrots
Deserts: Paper Street Cake
For more information on Orange County Wedding Photography or anywhere around the globe – please visit http://www.BriannaCaster.com
We’re about 5 months into 2018 incase you didn’t know… and for our team – it’s been a super weird year for bookings, but we have had some AMAAAAZZZING clients and it’s only MAY!!!!
I always think I have the “busy season” pegged in the wedding industry. Historically, March through October is the busiest time for us. With the months of March and October specifically being the absolute busiest – but having very consistent work throughout the months in between. This year, we started out with a HUGE February with 12 weddings (opposed to last years TWO weddings in February)… consistently busy through June, and then BAM… huge drop off in July and August, picking back up in September. JULY you guys. JULY is slow. It’s banana’s. Probably not nearly as fascinating and mind blowing to all of you as it is to me… but I’ve actually heard from several others in the industry that the summer months this year are just not as busy. So it’s not just me…. which is encouraging.
I have already photographed SEVERAL amazing couples this year that I can’t WAIT to get published anywhere and everywhere, and have several more coming my way. I have a legitimate first world problem… WHICH weddings do I submit to print, and which weddings do I submit to blogs? There have just been so many stunners who have stolen my heart with their sweetness and had me tearing up at their weddings that I just want to share all of them with the whole world!!! AND I’M NOT EVEN DONE YET!!! I have three weddings in a row this weekend alone, starting today…
This couple is no exception…. they will tie the knot in October at Mission Viejo Country Club and I absolutely adore them. Just look how photogenic they are and how cute they are together – I mean COME ON!!!