What's your WHY?

I threw the whole stack out the window as I buried my head into my hands and sobbed uncontrollably. I was so overwhelmed with emotion I could hardly function…

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Looking back now, I feel horrible for my poor mom who handled the situation with so much grace. I was a senior in high school and senior pictures were EVERYTHING. I had showed up for my session with several outfits, I had done my hair, my make-up, all the things. While we were taking the pictures, I remember feeling uncomfortable, but I couldn’t have imagined what would happen when we came back to see the proofs…

I literally HATED every. single. one. of them. Have you ever seen a picture of yourself and been so shocked that it was YOU (NOT in a good way)? Well, that’s how I felt about every single image the photographer had taken. I’ve been insecure about my looks since I can remember. I’ll never forget a boy in 2nd grade making fun of my teeth, and the feeling of shame and sadness that quickly rose up inside me. I’m sure sadly, many of us have similar memories. Being completely comfortable and confident in my skin is something I’m still working on and one that has been debilitating at times. And it was in this moment of looking through my senior portraits that brought all of those insecurities to the surface.

My mom was so patient and kind as I worked through the pain of visually experiencing so many personal insecurities at one time. She talked with the photographer who charged her for another session (oh my gosh - thank you mom!!) and I ended up with one image I didn’t completely hate. I need to find a copy of it to show you because… my HAIR. You gotta see it to believe it.

ANYWAYS. Fast forward a few years and a somewhat better hair style... I had always had a passion for photography, especially after my first child was born, but what I realized more than anything - was that I loved creating POSITIVE experiences for my clients. It brought me so much joy to create an experience where they could feel relaxed, confident and beautiful - because I quickly discovered that however someone is FEELING while having their picture taken, is exactly how they will LOOK. Which totally explains why I looked so unhappy and insecure in my senior portraits.

Women in particular are SO HARD on themselves. The comments I hear when women are looking through their images make my heart hurt - probably because they’re familiar lines I speak them to myself.

My mission is to help the women I work with FEEL the way I see them, which is:

  • EMPOWERED

  • STRONG

  • CONFIDENT

  • FULL OF LIGHT

  • BEAUTIFUL

  • PASSIONATE

  • WISE

That’s my WHY. That’s the fire inside that continues to push me forward in my work - because I believe in it’s importance and I believe that the BIGGER part of my job is the EXPERIENCE I create for my clients, not just finding the right angle and snapping the shutter.

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Remember WHY you started this whole business thing in the first place? I’m guessing that WHY is the same thing that continues to drive you day after day to show UP and do the work.

Are you sharing THAT story with your audience? If not, they’re totally missing OUT and so are you friend. In fact, I’m so serious about this that I want you STOP whatever you’re doing, pause and reflect for a moment on your journey up to this point and the story behind your business. And before you try to tell me it’s not exciting or inspiring, read on.

Here’s an excerpt from the book that inspired me to share MY story today… IF YOU READ NOTHING ELSE, READ THIS:

“Can we resist the fear-based tendency to make our work abstract or overly complex and instead trust that our lived experiences, insights, and natural ideas are enough to bring to the table? Often THAT kind of authenticity and vulnerability is what is needed to move hearts and create change. Quite often, that is also what will cause us to be noticed, to be respected, and to receive the opportunities we desire.”

- Tara Mohr, Playing Big

As I’ve taken the time to ponder on my own story, I realized how motivating and deep rooted it is for me… so deep that I had almost forgotten. And what a shame that would have been.

TELL YOUR STORY.

And if you want help doing it in a beautifully visual way, I’d love to help you out.

How setting GOALS can blow your MIND

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Not that we didn’t ever set any goals, but for the first 10 years of our marriage, we just kind of let life take us along. And everything was fine... life was good.

Until a little over 2 years ago in Mexico. It was the first time EVER away from our four kids for more than 48 hours. I was inspired by something I was reading and basically forced Josh to help me WRITE DOWN OUR GOALS. They were super specific, measurable, and time-bound and included all the different areas of our life - financial, personal, family, etc. And they were BIG goals you guys. BIG.

Fast-forward a couple months and we realized we had ALREADY accomplished several of the HUGE goals we had set, and were on track to surpass others. 

Say whaaaaaaaaa?! 🤯

Not only that, but having a CLEAR picture of where we wanted to go made making allllll the little decisions that much easier. Is this bringing us closer or further away from our goals? Boom. Done. Easy. 

Fast-forward to today. I look back on a relatively short period of time and what we’ve accomplished is CRAZY TOWN.  Student loans are totally paid off.  We’ve spent more time together as a couple and as a family.  I started a new business venture.  We purchased property.  We feel healthier.  The list goes on...

And the real crazy thing is that this has ALWAYS been available to us.  Setting goals, writing them down and then GOING AFTER THEM is available to everyone - and I truly believe that you’re holding yourself back if you’re not setting any. 

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So let's talk about GOALS yo - and how you can BLOW YOUR OWN MIND, shall we?

Here's a simple 5-step method to setting and REACHING your biggest goals:


1.  CATEGORIZE

Break your life up into your most important aspects and roles.  For my husband and I that first time in Mexico, we wrote down: marriage, kids, health, spiritual, financial, and professional/business.  Doing this allowed us to focus on each individual category and get real serious about what we wanted to accomplish, and what would have the biggest impact.  I love Michael Hyatt's S.M.A.R.T.E.R goal acronym:

SPECIFIC: Goals must be well defined, clear and unambiguous.

MEASURABLE:  Can you quantify your progress so you can track it? How will you know when you've reached your goals? 

ACTIONABLE:  Begin your goals with a verb. What is the associated action word that describes what you need to do to achieve it?

RISKY:  Your goals should scare you a little bit!  It will make them more interesting and demanding.

TIME-KEYED:  Goals must have a clearly defined time frame including a starting date and a target end date.

EXCITING:  Love this one!!  You should absolutely be excited about your goals - otherwise, what's the point?

RELEVANT:  Your goals should be in alignment with the season of your life and your values. Is your goal relevant to your life purpose?

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2.  KNOW YOUR WHY

This is crucial.  WHY is this goal important to you?  It's important that your WHY is bigger than your FEAR - for an amazing podcast episode about this, and to help you identify your "why" - head over to the Do It Scared Podcast with Ruth Soukup - it's a good one.  Keep in mind superficial reasons won't cut it, so try to dig deep on this one.  Why do you want to lose those last 10 pounds?  Looking good in a bikini is great and all, but feeling confident and having more energy to play with your kids - THAT is real motivation.  

3.  WRITE IT DOWN

Now that you've categorized your goals and made sure they are SMARTER, write them down!!  There is so much power in putting pen to paper.  I heard somewhere that the difference between a dream and a goal is simply writing it down.  It forces you to gain clarity about what you want and what is most important.  

4.  STRATEGY

Now that you have a clear picture of what you want to accomplish, how do you get from point A to point B??  It's highly affective to print out your goals along with their SMARTER details and hang them where you'll see them every. single. day.  Every time a situation or decision arises, ask yourself: is this bringing me closer or further away from my goal?  Another question I love to ask myself: what would the version of me who has already accomplished this goal do in this situation? #likewhoa  Work backwards - decide what you need to do this YEAR, this MONTH, this WEEK and now this DAY to accomplish your goal and make it happen.

5.  KEEP MOMENTUM

Set aside a time each month to look back and take inventory of what you have and haven't accomplished (yet) and to get super clear about the upcoming month.  And GIVE YOURSELF PROPS for every single win, big and small - this helps keep momentum and is something to fall back on when you feel like you're moving slower than you'd like.


I have been blown away by the progress my husband and I have made and even more importantly, by the CLARITY we now have in our lives.  It's amazing how powerful it is.  See for yourself.

Happy goal setting babes!


Want to spend more time with the people and things that really matter (like crushing your goals)?? 

Personal brand images that accurately tell your story and speak to your ideal client have the potential to reach your followers like NOTHING else, make you more money and free up more time for what matters.  Let's make some magic together. 

Click the button below to find out more!

The 10 Best Podcasts for Female Entrepreneurs

Obsessed.  You should probably know this about me before we go any further.  I love consuming information in any form, but a podcast.  Oh, a podcast is my FAVORITE.  And a podcast that focuses on leading in your life and business??  YASSSSS PUHlease.

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I get so excited when a friend shares a new podcast with me, so I thought I'd do you a solid and share my favs, all in one place.  I would LOVE to hear what you think is missing from this list!!

1. The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo - this isn't a business podcast, but I think learning to manage your BRAIN helps you show up in life AND business, so let's start with the basics amiright?  Brooke and I are best friends, she just doesn't know it (yet).  Her CTFAR model has literally changed my LIFE and the way I look at every single aspect of my life, especially my business.  I simply can't recommend this one enough.  One of my favorite Brooke quotes (although I swear every episode has one!!): "The discomfort of growth is always better than the discomfort of stagnation."  AHHH.  I love her.

2. Community Made with Jayson Gaignard - this podcast is GOLD for any entrepreneur.  Each season has a theme, this most recent one being all about networking.  Jayson is FULL of crazy valuable wisdom as are his talented and successful entrepreneur guests.  One of my favorite quotes from the podcast: "Invest in people like someone would invest in a business because amazing people become increasingly amazing over time."  See?  GOLD.  Definitely a must listen.

3. Do It Scared Podcast with Ruth Soukup - I've been a fan of Ruth's for some years now and love her Living Well Planner with all my heart.  She only recently began her podcast and it is QUALITY content you guys.  Her main concept is about learning how to face your fears, overcome adversity, and create a life you LOVE.  A favorite quote from Ruth: "Courage doesn't mean we're never afraid.  Instead, courage is having fear, but taking action anyway, despite our fear.  It's putting one foot in front of the other, not knowing where the path will lead."

4. Lead With Love Podcast with Jadah Sellner - oh gosh, I'm such a huge fan of Jadah and her mission to help entrepreneurs lead with love in their business.  I had the privilege of attending one of her in-person workshops and I'm pretty sure it changed my life, so much so that she’s currently my mentor!!  Her podcast is catered towards LOVE in business and the leaders who live it.  She explores what it means to make decisions from your heart, so you can build an engaged community, grow your dream business, and reach more people.  So good.

5. Goal Digger with Jenna Kutchergirl boss Jenna is the queen of email list building, Pinterest for business and of course Instagram.  Each episode is focused on being workshop-style so you can take what you learn and implement.  I don't listen to this one all the time, but it’s definitely a must listen!!

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6. Mind Your Business Podcast with James Wedmore - I'm still diving into this one, but I love the energy James brings to each episode, it's contagious.  My favorite so far is "Know Thyself, Know Thy Business" - it's a long one, but it was eye opening for me to really take a look at myself personally and then how I can bring those attributes and be working in my zone of genius when it comes to my business.

7. Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield - Amy's episodes are bright and cheery and full of actionable, momentum-building advice perfectly paired with your current stage of business growth.  As she describes it: "expert interviews, mini execution plans, and intimate behind-the-scenes secrets from my biggest launches… all tied together by my mission to make EVERYTHING you listen to as actionable and profitable as possible."  And she never disappoints.

8.  The Business Bites Podcast with Rachel Brenke - all the info, minus the fluff!!!! Rachel strives for it to be a place where busy entrepreneurs can find quick & valuable education. The goal is to grow your business in 10 minutes an episode, which is what makes it so different from most of the other podcasts I listen to. They’re SO SHORT you can squeeze one in anytime! And just because they’re short doesn’t mean they’re lacking in fab content and takeaways. Love Rachel!

9.  Brands that Book with Davey & Krista - They help creative service-based businesses find more clients and build their brands.  BOOM. Talk about niched DOWN. Davey is an amazing interviewer and every episode is full of great content that’s easy to break down and implement in your business. One of my favorite episodes is “Avoiding Common Money Management Pitfalls” with Shanna Skidmore. Like, grab your ear buds and go listen NOW!!!!!!

10.  Lightbulb Moment with Becky Mollenkamp - last, but certainly not least, this is one I actually haven’t listened to yet, but am dying.  I love that this podcast is for boss babes - Becky helps women navigate the mindset and tactical struggles of self employment.  Episodes range from transitioning your business as you have more babies to designing the perfect workspace.  


My favorite places to listen: at the gym, while folding laundry, and cooking dinner. 


Want me to help you tell the story of YOUR brand?  Are you ready to take your brand to the next level??  Personal brand images that accurately tell your story and speak to your ideal client have the potential to reach your followers like NOTHING else.  Let's make some magic together. 

Click the button below to find out more!

Why you can't afford to NOT tell your story

We all have a story to tell.  Most of our stories are quite messy, often crazy, a touch dramatic and so, so beautiful.  It's within these stories that make up what we represent and who we are.  And WHO we are is what people fall in love with.  They fall in love with our STORIES.  

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Our stories create connection.  And that connection creates TRUST.  

As a entrepreneur, you can't afford to NOT be telling your story.  Because as we all know, it's connection and trust that converts followers into paying clients.  And even if someone never becomes a client, CONNECTION is what life is all about isn't it??  As humans, we literally crave connection alongside basic survival.

So, creating a connection through sharing your story is really just another way to SERVE your community.  

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And I can't think of a better or more beautiful way to share your story than through images.  In fact, images are more influential in shaping the EMOTION and FIRST IMPRESSION of a brand than ANY other aspect of your business.

Think about it, you're scrolling, scrolling, scrolling... does another #SELFIE stop you in your tracks?  Nope.  Now, how about a beautiful image that perfectly captures the heart of what you do???  THAT sure stops me from my mindless scrolling.  #thankyouverymuch

As a personal brand photographer, telling stories through images is what I DO.  A common question I get is "What exactly is a story?"  As it pertains to personal brand photography, a story is one detailed aspect of a personal brand.  I'll give you a few examples.

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I'm currently working to build my personal brand (come follow along!), and I've identified 5 aspects of my life aka: personal brand that I want to focus on: 1. being a wife and mother 2. my obsession with all things self help (heyyyy Brene!)  3. the fact I end up in Target wayyyyy too often 4. my love for travel and 5.  my love for chai tea lattes.

Now, in each of these aspects, there are many stories that could be told.  Being a wife and mother - one story could be me homeschooling my four children.  Another story could be me finding humor in the day to day with my #realifeyo images.  And yet another story (all part of one main aspect of my "brand") could be my husband and I walking along the beach in San Fransisco where we had our first date.

You can see how the possibilities are endless and obviously each brand will have different aspects and stories they want to tell and focus on.  But essentially, a story is one specific, detailed portion of a brand, as told through images.

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As another example, Jadah Sellner is a rock-star online community growth and business strategist (among many other things!) who focuses on building a business tribe from a place of LOVE.  One main aspect of Jadah's personal brand is being an introvert who loves building intentional communities.  One way she does this is with her Love Over Metrics Business Growth Mastermind, which includes a couple in-person business retreats.

Images of Jadah leading her tribe of female entrepreneurs at a retreat helps to tell the story of an intimate community of women who are building their businesses, supporting each other and taking massive action to reach their goals and biggest dreams.  Again, this is just an example of ONE story Jadah might tell all under the aspect of building intentional communities.

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She also has a beautiful podcast that focuses on leading with LOVE that features some super wise guest speakers along with herself.  Images of Jadah recording her podcast are yet another example of one story she might tell of her larger brand aspect of being a leader and entrepreneur.

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It's images like these - authentic, high-quality, on-brand images - that create a deep CONNECTION with your tribe, and enable you to more clearly tell your story.

I hope this clears up what a STORY is as it pertains to personal brand photography and why having images that ACCURATELY tell your story is so, so important.

You have a personal brand, whether you realize it or not.  The questions is: are you happy with the story your brand is telling?

If not, I can hook you UP.  Let's make some story-telling magic together so you can spend more time doing what you LOVE.

Featured Personal Brand Session - Salon Ski

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"True belonging is the spiritual practice of BELIEVING and BELONGING to yourself so DEEPLY that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness.  True belonging doesn't require you to CHANGE who are; it requires you to BE who you are."

- The absolutely magnificent and genius Brene Brown

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I can't think of another human who exemplifies this more perfectly that this BOSS BABE right hurrrr.  She knows WHO SHE IS and with that power, she is changing the world. 

Welcome, my friends, to Salon Ski.

Owner, mama, and motorcycle chick Heather always welcomes you with a smile and although she doesn't hold a degree in psychology, she comes pretty close to the real thang.  We always joke that what happens while you're in the chair, stays in the chair. 

You'll almost always find a crowd in the salon - people are drawn to the warmth and positive vibes, can't blame them.

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Written on the front door as you walk into the salon is SEE THE BEAUTY IN EVERYONE.  It truly is a space where you feel comfortable, beautiful and loved.  Bits of confidence-boosting reminders to see the beauty in YOURSELF are sprinkled throughout the salon...

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She's honest and cuts to the chase, but behind her fierceness is the warmest and most compassionate heart I've ever known.  She stands for truth and will drop everything to help someone in need.

Heather also happens to be a hair GODDESS - an artist and chemist when it comes to creating colors, angles and cuts.

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She has the hair of a Victoria's Secret model and even though everyone I know envies it, she's always wished she was a brunette.  

She's a reminder that making other people FEEL good about themselves has a trickle effect.  When you radiate light, people can't help but be drawn to it.  And she knows that sharing her light doesn't take away from it, but instead allows it to shine even BRIGHTER.

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See the beauty in everyone.

Want me to help you tell the story of YOUR brand?  Are you ready to take your brand to the next level??  Personal brand images that accurately tell your story and speak to your ideal client have the potential to reach your followers like NOTHING else.  Let's make some magic together. 

Click the button below to find out more!