On Inspiration & Where to Find It

As I stared at window after window on my computer screen, my eyes started to ache and I had to pull away. The fall is one of my busiest seasons, and I could sense in that moment in front of my laptop, spending another hour in my office that I was beginning to lose it. No, not my mind, although it sometimes feels like that. But instead losing the spark that makes me love what I do - the inspiration. 

So, I lit a candle, brewed my favorite coffee, and looked through early 1900s photos that my grandmother had just sent to me. As I perused the sepia photos and searched for the glass negatives to match, my eyes still ached. Why wasn't this working? "Come on, inspiration" I kept telling myself. 

After about half an hour, I packed the box of photos back up, and I had to get on with work and the day's events. I headed downtown to the barre studio where I work out for a class and decided to bump up a session to happen before class. It was for one of the instructors. As I talked with her, felt the energy of people around me, and cleaned up after a hard class for another meeting, I felt it - inspiration. 

It wasn't found in some ritual or quiet moments, I found it in connecting with people - getting out of myself for long enough to see others. For my usually introverted self, this kind of shocked me at first. This isn't what I am supposed to be like. But in that moment, for whatever reason, I let that go. 

I always love hearing how artists found their muse. How did they create so well? What inspired them? The funny thing is, it's never the same. Each has had their own and had to find it themselves. 

And I shouldn't be surprised that connecting with people, at this time brought about inspiration. After all, isn't that the thing I love most about photography? The connections? 

Who's to say where or how inspiration will strike next. But I hope I won't be so set on it looking a certain way that when it passes me by, I miss it entirely. 


5 Ways To Enjoy Your Wedding Day

Controlled chaos? Overwhelming details? Unhappy people? Frantic last-minute decorating? Forcasted rain? Unfortunately, probably many things we have all seen at weddings. 

On any given wedding day, there are so many moving components and details that it isn't difficult to find yourself thinking about all of them instead of spending time with the people who love you and considering the ultimate goal - marriage. I think this is more than sad considering the joy and celebration that should accompany such a day in someone's life.

As a bit of an aside, I also find that the most enjoyable photos come when the couple and bridal party are focused on each other and the people around them, not worrying over details. Don't hear me saying that details are not important and to just throw caution to the wind when planning. But there is a balance. Always balance.

So, here are five ways I've seen brides and grooms maximize the amount of joy on their wedding day:

5 ways to enjoy your wedding day erika aileen

1. Pick the Right People

You will be spending all day with your bridal party, vendors, and guests. So, choose those people carefully. Make sure they're a good fit for you! Well, Erika, how am I supposed to do that? So glad you asked :) Find people who you "click" with and who you know you can trust to make your wedding day run smoothly and not drain or distract from the day.


2. Say "Yes" to the Things That are Important to You and "No" to the Ones that Aren't

So, you want the first time you read your vows to each other to be after you see each the first time, you want to cut into brie instead of cake, eat from food trucks instead of a tray passed meal, or leave other traditions behind. On your wedding day, choose the things that are important to you and do those instead of sticking to tradition or safety even if they're not important to you (this doesn't always mean foregoing tradition; to some, those typical wedding traditions are important and deeply meaningful). 

5 ways to enjoy your wedding day erika aileen photography

3. Be Aware of Your Limitations

You have planned diligently and covered many of your bases, but even still, by the day of the wedding, there is an element of control that has to be relinquished simply because there's nothing at that point that you can do. This needs to be the time when you just sit back and enjoy the ride. And I speak from experience! It poured rain during my very own backyard wedding. So, I've been there! This is also a good time to appoint a friend to answer questions on the wedding day instead of you if you don't have a coordinator. 

5 ways to enjoy your wedding day erika aileen photography

4. Be in the Moment

Your wedding day really does go by like a blur. So, yes, you will have photos and video, but there's nothing quite like being there 100% yourself. Those are the moments that the photos and the video will immortalize for you. You need only enjoy them.


5. Realize that No Matter what Happens on the Day-of, the Marriage is Most Important

If marriage is really the most important goal of the day, then the small things or even large shouldn't matter in comparison to marrying the love of your life. And that kind of attitude really does lead to the most joyful and genuine wedding celebration!

I hope that helps and that every moment leading up to and on your wedding day is fully enjoyed.