Ten reasons you don’t want to be friends with a photographer

1. They can’t just take a picture when you ask them without having to move to a different spot because of the light or background noise
2. They don’t know how to answer a simple question like, “What camera should I buy?” without going into a lecture about photography and lenses
3. They can’t just sit anywhere in a coffee shop, it has to be a spot with the most natural light
4. They won’t photograph everything, because it might not be in their “specialty”
5. They might force you to model for them in case you happened to be standing in a good light
6. They can’t just have a cup of coffee without taking a picture of it first
7. They’ll likely not like you if you ask them what camera they use, since it’s definitely the camera that takes amazing photos
8. They have the lamest jokes, since they’re in the business of making people smile
9. They might give you outfit suggestions without being asked, since they give wardrobe tips to clients on a regular bases
10. All of the above combined

And because posts are better with a photo, here’s a cute gift I received from my client and friend! Thanks Danielle, Jeff and Ridge, love you guys so so much!

My Friday Random List

… I saw a license plate with YUL initials and I totally followed the car for a good few miles, I’m pretty sure that person’s name was not Yuliya, but I couldn’t come up with a way to appropriate it for myself
… I noticed this afternoon that we have had books supporting the grand piano pedals for waaaay too long, maybe two years now? The pedals are barely doing the job, but I’m hoping after 20 more wedding bookings I’ll be able to afford the cost of tuning!!!
… I’ve looked at 1000+ blog templates today for my new blog, and yes I couldn’t tell the difference between them at the end
… My favorite Starbucks was half empty this morning and I got to sit in my favorite little corner!!!
… I got a call from my nephew today which made my day
… My sister’s car happened not to always start this week, but Dina says she knows how to fix it (didn’t know she had the mechanic in her)
… I can’t seem to get well this season, I’m always just a little sick, and a short game of volleyball last weekend reminded me that I should unfreeze my gym membership before my knees and ankles fall apart
… I’m going to South Lake Tahoe for a retreat in less than a month and I absolutely can’t wait!!!
… I had a lot of other things to say, but all the excitement from the word Tahoe made me forget them

Happy Friday world!

A close game of Empire and new friends in the industry

We played only one round when I knew that this is going to be a good game of Empire for me. No one suspected that I would be the one in need of making new friends. Not long after the New Years I got together with a few friends to celebrate the fun new things the year has for us and to end the night we played a round of Empire, using our new year resolutions and goals. One of my goals was to make new friends in the wedding industry, but to make it a little less obvious for the game, I simply said, “make new friends,” as my resolution. I didn’t win the game (although very close), but I did make my resolution a reality. Today I got together with a group of sweetest wedding photographers, who’ve become my new friends in the industry. We watched CreativeLive together, shared our ideas and visions, answered each others’ questions, gave critique on each others’ Websites, and also had a lot of fun while at it. Monika, Candice, Katie and Beatrice, thank you for your friendship and for our lovely time together, can’t wait to see you all in March! Lots of love, Yuliya


Warm summer days at the pool, discovering my brand, and new Website

The sun was high up in the sky warming the white sand colored pavement around the pool. All the lanes were taken so I sat on one of the white plastic chairs around the pool, waiting for my turn to feel the water against my sun-burned skin. With no book at hand, I leisurely sat there for a few minutes taking in the warm sunshine until I noticed something I’ve never connected before. For the past year that I’ve asked my brother-in-law to start working on my Website, I’ve been trying to find my brand, something that really speaks Yuliya, but to no avail. In my magazine ad clippings collection I’ve made to help find the perfect colors and themes for my brand, I’ve always kept a calendar photo of a bright orange boat docked in harbor against the backdrop of deep blue water and bright blue sky. I couldn’t nail why I liked it so much, well until this one summer afternoon by the pool when I noticed the bright orange top I wore daily to the pool, and the different shades of blue in my swimsuit and the pool water next to me. This, the warm sunshine, the bright colors, the different shades of blue of pool water, the strict lines of the pool lanes, and the pleasant feeling of summer, THIS was my brand, something very quintessentially me! I did my laps with much eagerness that day, because finally I knew which face my Website should take on, and what I want my prospective clients to feel when they land on my page. This discovery has helped me in creating the Website I loved, that felt like home to me, and if you notice a picture of pool water is on my homepage, including the orange and dark blue, and lots of other warm and happy watercolors! I hope this gave you a little glimpse of the behind the scenes on my Website and maybe will help you define your brand. Happy Tuesday and thank you for reading!

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We gathered our all things Apple and headed to one of our favorite Starbuckses. Reliving our holiday memories and making goals for the new year, Dina and I spent a few hours around a long wooden table right in the middle. Not sure how productive we were, but that day we’ve crossed off something on my list, which I frankly thought would never happen. FACEBOOK! My frustration with Facebook started long before it was popular. I attended a dress up party while in college and a friend of mine snapped a photo of me with a couple of friends. When I asked her for it, she said it’s on Facebook. I asked again, and Facebook was brought up again. And that was the end of the story, one of the few memories I have from my college life in LA buried in Facebook archives. How could I love Facebook after that experience? 😉 To make a long story short, seven plus years later, I finally got Facebook. My friends still make fun of me for not having a personal account, but a business page is a big progress for me as it is! If you haven’t yet, please visit my page and follow my adventures there (oh yes and maybe post some tips on how to use it). Happy Monday, world!

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Jury duty, dialogues, and the good old Norah

Not sure if its all the pressure of jury duty on Monday, or just stating off my week in a court room, but it’s been really hard to gather my thoughts and write something that has a beginning, middle and the end, sooooo, this post might be a jungle, but it will represent what’s going on in my mind precisely.

Thankfully I did not get picked for the case I was scrutinized for; the nature of it was too disturbing for me to handle. But I did learn a few things to keep in mind for next jury duty. Like don’t take the business dress notice seriously, you’ll be likely sitting next to a guy in ripped jeans and biker jacket, but hey at least you won’t eat lunch alone. 😉 Avoid people who use face recognition on their Android, I hope none of you do this. Do not smile or think too hard in court, you will be asked if that’s a smile and why you are thinking so hard. Never be number 12, you might be unexpectedly requested to leave the court room by both sides. Do not talk to people who’ve set in the waiting room all day, you might get their life story before you get to the parking lot. Don’t plan on having time to read, if you’re anything like me you’ll end up talking to someone for three hours. The fun part was of course telling the judge how much I love my brides and how much I enjoy running a business, which frees me up for church and the things that really matter, (for a moment there I forgot I was in court). Another good thing was getting a juror number that corresponded to my real age. I think finally I remember how old I am, because for the most part I’m convinced I’m still 25.

Besides all the jury duty fun, I’ve concluded that this past year has flown by the fastest. I was looking at my calendar for April to fit in a trip to Dallas to visit my favorite college professor, and then I thought to myself, “Didn’t I just see his family?” Has it really been almost a year, world?

On a totally unrelated note (not that anything is related in this post), I figured out that retelling conversations to others just gotta be the hardest thing for me yet. When I have to write about a conversation it takes a lot of time and many changes until I’m convinced people will follow the dialogue without confusion, but trying to tell someone the dialogue is a killer. I happen to remember more details than anyone ever should, and I feel like I don’t do justice if I miss anything the person says, or say it a bit differently. So now I.m in a dilemma, do I just skip dialogues in my conversations all together, is it ok to summarize, or is there a way to make it easier? Any tips would be appreciated.

Starbucks is playing Norah Jones while I’m finishing this up and now I’m all in reminiscence over my college days spent in Israel. I spent many lazy summer afternoons with my friend Jodi listening to her pandora list with lots of Norah in it! Good old times. And since there’s no way to properly finish this post, we just have to end it right here and hopefully I might have something more exciting next time! 😉 Cheers, Yuliya