Fatty Fatty Two By Four.

From: Kimberly Lawson

To: Ashley Goodwin

Sent: Mon, March 28, 2011

Subject: Food assignment

This is super early for ya, but since I know about it already and I know you’re going to be busy busy, I thought I’d send it your way now.

The Diamond

The doublestack burger

1901 Commonwealth Ave

Charlotte, NC 28205

From: Ashley Goodwin

To: Kimberly Lawson

Sent: Mon, March 28, 2011

Subject: RE:  Food assignment

AWWWWW s*#t son!


Way to go, Kimmie, way. to. go.

From: Kimberly Lawson

To: Ashley Goodwin

Sent: Mon, March 28, 2011

Subject: Re: Re: Food assignment

LOL. 🙂 Enjoy that doublestack!!

There it is ladies and gentlemen.  PROOF that I have no validity to my ” Creative Loafing assignments make me fat” argument.  The culprit is not my freelance gig photographing cuisine from the most delicious restaurants around Charlotte, but my tremendous lack of willpower while in each plate’s presence.  I am sure no one listens when I try to push the blame onto Creative Loafing anyway, everyone around me knows how much I look forward to exploring a new dish each week.  It’s just my job to shoot the yumminess, not to eat it!  That’s the reviewer’s job! Several times I’ve turned down offers to taste meals, but nine out of ten attempts usually wind up looking like this: me, merrily skipping out the door, promising to return with friends, to-go box in hand.

So I am here to publicly announce that I have a wedding dress to get into.  This means I have to stop sabotaging my lettuce filled lunches and workouts with these tasty treats, so help me God. If you see me in your local diner, spoon in hand, about to gleefully plunge into a bowl of Mattie’s fried oreo sundae, SMACK THAT SPOON RIGHT OUTTA MY HAND and tell me to getta’ grip!  (And while you’re at it, tell my friend Ryan to go home, because wherever that sundae is being ordered, he is ordering one, too.)

All of this starts after the doublestack, of course.

Chinese pastry from Grand Asia Market in Matthews & sushi roll from Akahana on Central Ave.

Artichoke Starter from Rudy’s on Rea Road and Hanger Steak from Kalu Uptown.

ashley barnett - I sing the fatty fatty two by four song to myself at least 5 times a week. My constant berating has not helped me lose weight sadly. LOL.

Life with Kaishon - Oh my gosh. That food looks too delicious for words. OH MY WORD! Seriously WOW! I know you can do it though. Avoid all that deliciousness for the sake of a dress!

Goodwin Girls - Thanks! It really is hard to resist, I won’t lie! I was on such a ROLL loosing weight, eating healthy, and now I have kinda hit a wall the past week…gotta get back in it and NOT let these delicious meals come home with me!

Lessons learned in wedding planning.

I recently read somewhere that the engagement process is sort of a right of passage. The process of planning a wedding puts couples through issues they will undoubtly face in their marriage: budgeting finances, communicating concerns, balancing home and work (because let me tell you, wedding planning is full-time job) and making compromises ( “A sectional? But I hate sectionals” is the wedding day equivalant of “Does your Best Man really need to recap your frat years?”).  Dealing with these issues together is a true cornerstone in building a successful relationship, and what I have also learned; a successful business in the wedding industry.

Planning my own wedding has completely shifted my business outlook.  As a vendor it’s easy to say “Ughhhh, this client is emailing me to death!” but as a bride I can now see why clients are blowing up your inbox.  After spending a “wedding weekend” trying to plan things with my mother (aka J.Lo in the Wedding Planner), I found it easy to get overwhelmed.  There were certain instances that we were asking vendors specific questions, drawing out floor plans (yep, floorplans.  I’m a DESIGNER!  I have to PLAN!) and noting potential hazards like “how much weight can the ceiling hold?”.  After getting varied responses and, to be quite honest, some rather hesitant remarks, I quickly became discouraged.  After hours of standing in our reception space, trying to envision exactly where each table would be, my vendor informed me “that is something I will get with the caterer on and take care of”.  Oh, really? That was news to me.  I was under the impression that this particular coordinator’s job was to simply be a representative of the venue and, per the contract, was “NOT your wedding coordinator”.  Fighting back tears of an incredibly stressful day, I attempted to banish the negativity from our gloriousssss plans and press on.

Hours later, it hit me.

I was, apparently, completely uninformed of what exactly my vendors were offering, the specifics, their job descriptions, and as a Bride what I should be taking care of and inquiring about.  Hence my (again, Jasmine Star! There goes that word again!) business revelation came into play:

With my clients I need to educate, educate, educate.

My clients won’t always know what services I provide unless I inform them.  My clients won’t necessarily understand that it is imperative to be on time to their 3:30 p.m. session, not because I am a diva, but because the sun will set soon and that means less shooting time!  My Bride’s may not really think about the potential for an amazing pre-wedding experience while doing a “First Look” if I don’t share experiences with them.  How can I expect them to know these things if I don’t tell them? Often times it’s a Bride’s first go at wedding planning, and  to them nothing is more daunting or overwhelming.  It is my job, as a professional, but more-so as someone who genuinely cares, to inform them to the best of my abilities about everything they should expect out of my service.  My bride should never be left wondering how to figure it out on her own.  They chose me for (hopefully!) my personality and skill, but pay me for my professionalism and knowledge.  How am I supposed to know I need to send a JPEG of our wedding announcement if you don’t tell me?

As it may have been a stressful day, and I am sure there are more to come before our August 13th wedding, I am taking in all in stride.  Not only because it’s our wedding day and will be fabulous regardless (oh you know it!), but I have grown so much from my personal experience and in turn related it to how I work my business.  We are the professionals and it is our responsibility to inform our clients of the ins and outs.  Making a living from our craft is an incredible blessing, but speaking from a current Bride’s perspective, nothing is more important than spending the day with a vendor that you trust, appreciate and love.  To me, that is the true honor in being a hired photographer.  I may have wanted to pull my hair out just three weeks ago, but instead I have parlayed the wisdom into a new business structure, and that right there makes all of the frustrations worthwhile. I am thankful for the bumps in the road that have made me reflect on what I could be doing better as a professional, even more thankful that I have not encountered any confusion with my clients, but this realization insures that for the future.  Girls, don’t fret.  I feel ya.  You want it to be perfect.  I can relate. (And I love those shoes!)

& if not anything, this mentality will at least keep your inbox clear of emails from frantic Brides…apparently like myself. 😉

& all our vendors out there…I love you all.  Promise.

ashley barnett - I love this post! It is tough to not realize (until you are in their position) that there are so many stressors and things that they simply DON’T KNOW about. It is easy to say “jeez why is client X asking about this?!” but when you take a step back you realize it’s simply due to a lack of knowledge. I really think as wedding photographers we end up being SO much more than photographers. We give advice, tips, help guide the ebb and flow of the day, and sometimes have to put our foot down and make sure things happen. It is a delicate balancing act, but I know I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

[Kiddos] Miss K

This adorable blue-eyed, squishy cheek doll baby was the easiest child under the age of 4 that I think I have ever worked with. Ever. “She just started walking this week” her Mom Rebekah beamed. Yep, that explains it. I caught her just right – in between the sitting and playing with the grass, looking down and putting anything found within reaching distance in her mouth and the “as fast as you may be you can never catch me” phase. She wobbled back and forth, unsteady on her feet and unsure what those jelly-like things were under her, tipping to the front, no the back, wait..oh no…is she…gonna fall, should I catch her…oh wait….nope! she’s hanging on tight! – can you believe she never fell? not once! You could tell she was just as proud of herself, smiling and clapping while her parents cheered her on. And look at that smile people, it’s the smile of a very loved little girl…who is totally used to a camera.

Thanks Rebekah and Stew for having me capture this exciting step in her life, literally. (and should I mention that I remember when Rebekah and I were just little gals ourselves, all dressed up in flower girl dresses in the wedding of my aunt & her uncle some 20+ years ago! No she has her own little girl to dress up…WOW 🙂

Goodwin Girls - These are adorable!!! You rock out some portrait sessions like no one’s business. Love the B&W! COME TO HAWAII SIS, I NEED YOUR SKILL THERE!!!!!

With great change comes great opportunity.

Let the truth be told, as excited as I am to go to Hawaii (& just finally live with my Army man again, Marshall!), I am as equally scared to death. Leaving the comfort of all of my great friends who have not only been there for me for the past 6 years here in Charlotte, but also my clients.  My job as an Interior Designer, the degree that I worked so hard in school for (wish I could leave those loans behind…) and the field that lets me bring my eclectic design schemes to life.  My amazing clients who may have begun our projects with their daughter’s rooms, but ideas that led into their whole house.  The relationships with those clients who genuinely care and in lieu of requesting a memo sample, walk in and immediately ask how my fiance in Afghanistan is doing, or how our wedding plans are coming along.  Waking up to emails from Kim, directing me to my next Creative Loafing assignment, but always responding back in reply after reply of in-depth conversation.  I am so excited for the blank slate that moving will give us, but am honestly clueless as to how to utilize it.  Thankfully, Marshall has so graciously assured me that he will help out financially until I am able to get my business up and running, but what if I want shoes?  And Sephora? Or there is a really amazing sale on RueLaLa and I have to buy that bikini at 11:01 A.M. before they are all GONE?

I’ve been dying for more time to devote to my craft.  I feel like this is my chance.  My chance to do what I have been itching to do, to 100% focus on my photography, my brand, and rock. it out.  But here’s the catch: I have no idea how to do that in a place where I know no one, and certainly no one knows me.

Thus you can imagine my excitement when my girl, Jasmine Star, announced that she was looking for students to join her on another internet broadcast for Creative Live.  I purchased videos of Jasmine’s last session in which she shot a wedding, LIVE, on. the. internet.  (I know, right?) and have watched them a million times over.  This time she is discussing business, marketing, and branding and it couldn’t have come at a better date.  I knew that no matter what, I had to join her….or at least give it valiant effort.  The woman knows her stuff and is so inspirational, I immediately signed up to tune in…but hoped I would be there in person.  (Trust me, everyone around me for the last WEEK has heard nothing but “Jasmine Star this” and “Jasmine Star that“.  But, that’s nothing new.)  I may have spent days pondering ideas, video composure, what I was going to wear, and re-worded my submission at least a hundred times, but my “biggest business challenge” was clear.  How am I supposed to start over in my business without literally starting over?  I know that photography is what I want to do, and I know that I can be wildly successful at it, I am just petrified of not knowing what the future will hold and how to get to my dreams because, believe it or not, I am a planner.  I plan to plan.  As much as I like to think that I’m a laid back free spirit, when it comes to the things I want I have to have it all lined up so that I know there is a set and clear goal.  Usually to the point of flaw (don’t believe me?  Just some of our current wedding vendors…they can vouch!).

So, here it is, my submission to Creative Live with Jasmine Star.  If you know me, you know that I’m a talker.  Talkie talkie talkie, and I don’t mind!  But THIS was a clear challenge, trying to get my point across in a MINUTE?  Oh dear lord.

Me:  “I know what I want to say, I just need to make it clear and precise.”

Marshall:  “Yeah, just don’t ramble..”

Marshall:  “because you tend to do that, you know…”

He’s right.  But hey!  I just have a lot to say!  I also credit all of my typos to this.  My mind thinks faster than my little fingers can type, sometimes faster than my mouth.  I swear it.

And it just so happens my Birthday is that weekend.  No harm throwing a little guilt in there, right?  😉

If don’t win I will still tune in…on my birthday…and cry.   I have to say, I was trying SO HARD to be myself but it’s not easy being on the other side of the camera!  If nothing else that was a great learning experience.  And my voice drives me crazy.  And why do I make such ridiculous faces?  Am I always this animated?  & WHERE DID ALL OF THOSE CHINS COME FROM?!?!

Because they are pretty hilarious, here are the out takes, and clearly me being more Ashley, less Ashley Caught on Camera, which probably makes it a good thing these clips didn’t make it into the final cut!

& a HUGE thanks to Lindsey, my co-worker, who so generously spent a supper away from her fiance to film this for me Uptown after work! (& thanks to her fiance, too, who took one for the team and substituted a home cooked meal for PB&J on a hotdog bun).  She was rather hesitant to manage video on the 7D but I think she did a pretty dern good job. James Cameron wasn’t available so we had to improvise. No worries, she was compensated..in a lightrail ticket and drinks.

ashley barnett - BAHAHAHA I love you. The video you submitted was so good! I really wanted to do this. Like really wanted. But time got away from me, so I’m so glad you did! I literally spit my coffee onto the couch laughing at the outtakes. 🙂

Goodwin Girls - Do it today Ashley!

Lauren Modny - You are awesome! Good luck! And I loved, loved, loved the outtakes!!

Jennifer Jar - Oh my goodness your outtakes made me laugh SO hard! You could have probably just sent that one to Jasmine and got chosen lol! I really like your submitted video as well, GREAT JOB!

mom - I love these…but I agree….the outtakes are definately more you!!! I think I would still send as an addendum…..Kinda like the uncut version

Lauren Modny - I just read Jasmine’s blog! Congratulations!! I’m so excited for you!!! Yay!

jemimah b. - Ashley! congrats on the J* win! i am so looking forward to seeing a southern girl like myself at the workshop. wish i could be there! like you i am a military re-locator with my hubby and struggle with the same issue. looking forward to seeing what J* has to say on the subject. 🙂 congrats again!!

Goodwin Girls - Thanks ya’ll! I am SOOOO excited for the opportunity, I think I’m gonna die!
@Jemimah: It’s such a scary thought, but I know that it can be done!! It’s really just about marketing myself for particular clients and I think that no matter where I am living I would need to be doing the same thing, military or not, but it does make it more difficult when you are a newbie (like myself!) and NEED those consistent clients and reputation around town. AH! Shoot me questions on twitter and I’ll be sure to quiz the queen!! Twitter.com/ashleygoodwin.

And I swear, everyone keeps talking about my accent but I don’t have a clue what they are talking about ya’ll! Hahah, but for real, I don’t. Everyone here says I DON’T have an accent…that is until I say “HI-schoool” (Highschool. But how ELSE do you say it???)

Erin A K Potter - Aloha!! Congrats on being picked for Jasmine’s Creative Live course!! By the way, when will you be moving to Hawaii? I’m assuming you’re moving to Oahu? I live on Maui. 🙂 Maui No Ka Oi!! You should visit if you get the chance!

Goodwin Girls - Thanks Erin! You are correct, we are heading to Oahu, woohoo! I loveeeeee Maui, especially Lahina! Oh those TREES!! And you better not ask THIS girl to visit because trust me, I will be knocking on your front door.

Erin Oveis Brant - So I just wandered over here and found your outtakes. So fun, so funny! We are going to have a ridiculous amount of fun. More fun than is probably allowed by law. You know this, right??? CAN’T WAIT!!!!!!

Laura Stribling - Hi Ashley,
You were my favorite on creative live! I love the out takes video. You have the perfect amount of southern accent, the kind that sounds alluring and gentile.

Goodwin Girls - Your FAVORITE?!??! I like favorites!! 😉 I like you. Thank you. 😉