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The First Step to Stop Judging Other People

“Dogma: A principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true.
Greek meaning: that which one thinks is true.”

Humans are so funny. They often bounce around from one dogma to the next, thinking they’re free along the way. They reject one church, believing they’ve left right and wrong rigidity and the shame game behind them… that they found “freedom” under a new church or spirituality, but that “freedom” is cloaked in just another flavor of right and wrong. It’s still dogma. It’s: “I’m right and if you don’t believe like me, well… you’re wrong.” This happens CONSTANTLY in life! Especially with health…..Gluten Free, keto, veganism…or, what about pro-vaccine and anti-vaccine?!?! One is right, the other is wrong! Home birth and hospital births. Black and white, right vs wrong.  Parenting…different parenting styles… whether kids should have electronics: ) Or what about politics!?! One party is RIGHT, the other is wrong (WAY wrong.) And… “there should only be ONE party!! The one I believe in!” We may not speak those words, but they are thoughts/beliefs in our minds. Or lastly Spirituality, which can be so similar to religion….. “you’re truly spiritual if you do ‘this this this this and this.’”

THE PROBLEM with dogma, is that it urges us to JUDGE OTHERS. Our dogmatic beliefs tell us, “I am right, you are wrong.” To find the dogmas in your life, examine the areas in which you judge the most… Diet? Parenting? Politics?? The first step is becoming aware of the areas that make us judge others the most. Awareness is always the first step to change. We cannot change that which we are not aware of.
We spend our lives living amongst boxes of different dogmas but they ALL smell the exact same! Are you ready to attempt to see the rigidity of beliefs in your own life for what they TRULY are? We really love to lie to ourselves. Humans typically love being right and want others to follow in their same exact footprints! But, why can’t we stay in our own lane? Why can’t we look at our own lives only, instead of analyzing those of our friends and family and community?

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The only 3 year old I know who loves to model

My friends little girl is one of the only children I know who possesses the “modeling gene”….
which is compliance, the intuition to pose without the photographer directing,
and a wide range of facial expressions that are SOOOO cute!
She makes my photographer dreams come true!!!!

BTW these photos took many hours……
I cannot create stellar photos under a short time frame!

Her mother’s wedding shoes:

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5 Random (but Important) Things you didn’t know about weddings until now

If a wedding is on or near the beach (especially the ocean), with the bride’s hair down,
the hair curls will fall out and the overall appearance will change within
an hour of two of being styled! The WIND plus HUMIDITY is a hair killer!!

A 6+ or more person bridal party (six on each side, twelve total), no matter how cool they are,
brings a certain level of stress and chaos brides and grooms should be prepared for.
Large bridal parties are harder to wrangle and “control,”
and its very apparent when the getting ready room is very small but many people need to fit inside the space….
it becomes chaotic and looks like a bomb went off!
The one advantage of having a large bridal party is that a bride and groom can utilize the extra hands to their advantage,
giving them errands etc. BUT, I personally experience, that brides and grooms
are much more relaxed with SMALL bridal parties, ~3-4 people each, OR no bridal party at all.

If a bride’s dress has a long lonnnggg wedding dress train, the majority of the day (and the wedding photos) will be of the bride
or someone else HOLDING the train and wrangling the train.
That’s probably not a good or bad thing, I’m just managing expectation of a train: )

If a bride and groom do not attend their own cocktail hour, they will barely see their own guests.
That truth will either make a bride and groom happy or sad because a lot of the guests may be their parents friends anyways haha!
It also depends if you have a Rehearsal dinner the night prior with most of the guests attending. That is usually the best time to visit with guests too!
I highly recommend the bride and groom attend their own cocktail hour
so that they can utilize that specific time thats meant for mingling! Makes sense right: )

Brides and grooms get asked SOOOOOOOOO many questions on a wedding day!
A question is being posed from every angle at every minute! Be prepared!
If a bride is very chill, I recommend her making a PSA to her friends and family prior to the wedding asking them to be conscious of the questions and the amount they are asking, because it all adds up for the bride!
And if they have schedule/timeline questions…….. refer to the timeline haha.
A wedding planner’s schedule usually has EVERYTHING on it.

I hope that helps: )

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New Mexico Wedding + Mark and Kristin

This was my first time to New Mexico!!! I explored Albuquerque, Santa Fe, then Pecos National Park, where the wedding ceremony was held! I loved it ALL!!! I am so happy to be returning back to New Mexico in May for a wedding!!!

This bouquet by Viva Flora!

Amazing details from For the Love Wedding and Event Design!!

The wedding reception was at SITE Santa Fe!!!

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My biggest hurdle is my greatest asset

I have MANY  limitations during wedding days and family sessions…..
Lighting: the lack of natural light in homes, harsh, direct, and uneven sunlight
during wedding ceremonies, DJ reception lights….
Subjects: intense bridesmaids, controlling or stoic men/dads (sometimes women), moooooody toddlers,
gassy newborns who keep fussing, anxiety ridden mothers, body conscious women….
My job very much depends on the subjects… I cannot get emotional photos without emotion.
BUT with ALL of that being said…. my biggest hurdle is that I NEVER believe I do a good enough job.
It is a constant feeling. It may dissipate for 4 minutes after taking an image I love soo much, but then the feeling returns.
I want to be better. I think I could have shot EVEN better than I did, although I simultaneously believe that in the moment, I did the best I could with what I am given. Thats my motto : “Do the best you can with what you are given,”
because most scenarios are out of my control. I have to roll with sooo many punches!!!
I always know what I need in the moment to get “the shot,” but the execution usually is out of my control, honestly: the toddler will not look at me (I don’t even need a smile, just one look), or the groom is SO DONE taking photos the energy is palpable,
or the time clock reads ZERO and the wedding planner is like, it’s go time!!!
I am in a weird constant flux of: “Ahhhhhhh I could have done better, I should have done this, I should have done that!!! Why didn’t I do that!!!” but, “NO, I had SO many limitations,
I KNOW I did the best I could in the moment.”
BUT I do believe that my mental hurdle of never feeling like I did my best, PUSHES ME to actually do MY BEST!!!
Its also a blessing that makes me, ME!!
The photographer on the ENDLESS pursuit of amazing, unforgettable, hilarious, omg images!!

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Hi, I'mLeaa creator.