I first met Amanda at a styled shoot when I was pregnant with Stella. We connected instantly as believers and became friends. Through the years we were in Texas we talked about business and even hosted a little Bible Study group together. Her heart for the Lord is beautiful. She is real and is always pointing back to the gospel. She is one of the things I miss most about the state of Texas. I just know that you will love her too.
Tell us a little about yourself?
My current favorite title is "Wife". I absolutely adore being married to my husband, Matt. I'm also a daughter, sister and soon to be mom (I'm sure I'm going to love this title too)! I'm passionate about building and fostering community, our church (The Village Church in Flower Mound) and my marriage. We live in a cozy little house with our big orange tabby, Oliver.
As a wedding photographer, what inspires you?
Marriage. The Lord put this deep love in my heart for marriage and how it reflects the gospel. I didn't start out to become a wedding photographer. In fact, I worked in Public Relations and was a Corporate Event Planner for three years before I started my own company. The Lord continued to press and challenge me to the ministry of marriage. Matt and I dated long distance for 5 years (including our engagement) and were also apart for 8-9 months of the year during the first two years of our marriage. During this time, I really learned what I was made of. The Lord exposed so much yuck in my heart and so many preconceived expectations I had about marriage that simply weren't true. As a wedding photographer, getting to capture the gospel covenant on a weekly basis is so refreshing and a constant reminder to myself. The Lord sees and knows the deepest darkest depths of our hearts and loves us the same. He says, even though I know all that is there, I forgive you and I'm not going anywhere. All your sin has been nailed to the cross. We have the opportunity to practice this with our spouses each day. The wedding day is only the beginning.
What does a typical day look like for you?
It's always different! Which I love! Usually, I start the day outside with my breakfast and my Bible. I then go through emails and make a to-do list for the day. Depending on the day, I'm going to potential client meetings, networking events, designing wedding albums, editing images, or blogging.
What helps you stay organized?
Systems and processes! At the beginning of the year I attended Sage Wedding Pro's
"The Simple Plan" workshop. This was a turning point for my business! I was able to create a step-by-step process that is the same for every single client every single time. Before, I did things differently every time and was so stressed about missing a step! Another huge stress reliever is keeping an organized inbox. I organize everything by folders. If there's still an email in my inbox then it needs attention. If it's been taken care of, it gets filed. The last thing, I hired a part-time assistant and album designer. Her name is Laura and
she is an absolute answer to prayer. Just kidding, the real last thing, scheduling a day off
each week and getting serious about making Sunday our Sabbath. If you are a small business owner, make this a priority!! My day off each week usually changes but at the beginning of each month, I look at the calendar and write "Amanda's Day Off" and block off the entire day. I learned
the hard way that if I didn't fight for this time, it would get taken up by something else. I found I was so much more productive and organized when I felt rested and "filled up".
You are expecting a baby this Spring! How are you preparing your life and business for this precious addition?
Whoohoo!! We can't wait to meet our sweet baby girl this April! When I first found out I was pregnant, I called each of my brides and let them know. I had already photographed 5 weddings while being pregnant and didn't even know it! Clear communication is key. Thankfully, I didn't have to cancel any weddings but I did have to get creative on some portrait sessions. I also had to sit down with my husband and come up with a reasonable maternity leave and be strict about not taking anything on during that time. Part of why I wanted to start this business was to be able to have a more flexible schedule when we were able to start a family so I want to first be "mom" then be "wedding photographer". Although.. I have to remind myself of this on a daily basis. I have to consult my "voice of reason" aka my husband and run inquires by him.
What is the biggest thing God has been teaching you this year?
"The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps." Proverbs 16:9. Surrendering to His will and plans which are so much sweeter. I haven't experienced anything more humbling than pregnancy. Literally, NOTHING is in my control. I've had to take a lot of thoughts captive and be thankful for one day at a time of getting to be this girl's momma. Not to mention the humility of all the changes going on physically, having to ask for help and having to cut back on sessions/weddings.
What are your must have daily products?
I'm a hippie at heart. :) My must haves are my big green Nalgene water bottle, my
essential oils, green tea, an occasional almond milk latte & Lush bath bombs. I would
also have a hard time having to do without my husband and I's synced Google Calendar.
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