Thursday, November 18, 2010

Faster Than I Can BLOG

Hi Everybody....

Faster than I can blog, life is changing and opening my eyes to new opportunities. Do I jump? Do I dare? How many times can you change your vision and your focus in a single year without looking flaky? Do you listen to your gut even if the rest of the world doesn't understand what you're doing? What if you are frustrated because you can't articulate it well to the people that matter?

These are the questions I've been answering lately. Maybe you can relate. We are all making changes. Change is afoot. Don't worry, I'm always going to wanna make friends and make portraits and wedding images of my friends. It's hard to call you clients. It puts up a wall that the best photographers tear down because it gets in the way.

I JUST posted that I was going to pursue coaching formally. I LOVE discovering how much we're all much we're different. I get so inspired from talking to you about your goals and dreams and desires, your fears, your thought processes.

SO, I had a dream, I took a risk, I ended up at the PartnerCon convention in New Orleans, and now I have the hugest (huggest?) risk/opportunity at my fingertips. My gut is telling me that this is a no-brainer (haha that's ironic). But the logical world I live in wants me to be terrified at taking this NEXT HUGE risk. And I mean a "thousands of dollars" kind of risk. I kind of enjoy being in this tense position...on the verge of the I ready for this? (yes) Is this where I dreamed of being someday? (yes) But the most important answer I've gotten from my gut is "You were made to do this. Go do the thing that isn't right for 99% of other people. I've done enough personal development work in the past three years with Karen & Fay and Cam & Linda and Allan to KNOW what my purpose is. And holy crap. I have the chance to do it in a national-type of way you guys. And I can feel you cheering me on, no matter how abrupt this opportunity arose. I have to do it, and while I do, I want very badly to be able to share with you what's running through my head. Cause I think you'll be inspired, and I want to inspire you.

I'll be keeping a lid on it for the next few months during planning. But when the official launch occurs, you'll be the first to know. Friend me on Facebook if haven't already! xoxoxoxo


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Scattered Corners


If you had to sit down with a pencil and paper right now, and draw a picture of what it's like in your mind (the "desktop" of your thought generator), what would it look like? Can you imagine it? Is it neat and tidy? Is it a box? A cube? Is it round? Is it flat? Mushy? Rock? Paper? Swirling light? Smooth granite. Is it a place you can walk through? One way or another, when you shifting your thinking can be easy or it can be chaotic.

I just LOVE thinking about this stuff, because we all go through life together, but process the details so differently sometimes. Give the same 10 people the same life for a day and I guarantee there will be 10 different ways to approach it and 10 different to-do lists. What are the things we can do to get better results and feel more joy each day? It all starts in your head.

If I were to describe my mind most of my adult life, I'd have to describe it as having scattered corners. Interesting, exciting discoveries to contemplate, marinate, and discuss (though "celebrate" rhymed better). A glorious bouquet of curling, corkscrewing potential opportunities. Genius lurks in there, I imagine. Potential. Insight. Inspiration. Guts. Would I call it organized? NO way. Compartmentalized? Nope. Is it easy to turn all of my good ideas into action? Not at all.

It became clear to me after hiring a professional organizer, Melanie, that EVEN when a pro sets up your space tailored specifically to the way YOU think and work, that just might be HALF of the battle to becoming organized. The other half is learning how to conduct.

Check this out. Imagine having an orchestra of talented, enthusiastic musicians, but a disorganized conductor without the music. Now imagine them trying to play. The potential for a song is there, but no one can hear it..NOT because the talent or desire isn't there, but because the conductor doesn't have rhythm and can't get in a flow. The conductor doesn't have the music. Melanie set me up with the tools I needed to make some great music (a.k.a.stress-free productivity) but needed to learn to play it better. Allan is coaching me to do that. The "conductor" of my inner thoughts liked to do most what it does naturally...exploring scattered corners.

I have kept my functionally organized for two years since Melanie blessed my office with her presence! What I have came to realize through that process is that my mental environment could use some organizing too! The conductor in me needed to learn to read music so it could play any music it yearned to play.

Does that make sense? Can you relate to what I'm describing? Life is a song! Learn to play it!

In more concrete terms, I sought MindFit coaching (what Allan does) because:

I didn't want the same ideas or reminders popping into my head day after day.

I didn't want to feel like there was more to do than there was time to do it, day after day.

I wanted to get out of the "must organize" pattern of thinking and get into the "a joyfully prepared & present" way of life.

But it seemed impossible to reconcile; how do I clear out my head of reminders and fears and become so productive and efficient that I ACTUALLY have free-time to pursue those really cool daydreams I dream up?

A vision began to emerge of a different way. After reading David Allen's "Getting Things Done", I began to imagine my thoughts having their own space just as every project in my office has it's own space. Creativity is awesome, but if you are like me and your creative thoughts are smashed in with "should do's" and "must remembers" and "am going to's", it can be murk up your sparkly personality. I can't stand feeling like I am forgetting something. Or that I went through the effort of writing "it" down but cannot remember where.

Being mentored and coached initially by the amazing Karen and Fay of the Wisdom Connection was revolutionary to how I viewed myself, my power, and my belief in my dreams. I don't want to imagine where I would be had I not met the gorgeously expressive group of manifesters changing the world one day at a time down there at the Wisdom Connection. I am proud to call myself one of them.

However, this summer I began specialized MindFit coaching with Allan for several months and I am realizing JUST how scattered those "scattered corners" in my mind were. You know those "busy" days where you have the vague sense that you didn't really get much accomplished? That's what I'm talking about. You have been doing a lot of thinking but it isn't translating into a lot or results or action. Big tasks like photoshoots and weddings were easy to plan and prepare for...they existed in their own tidy context in my mind. Its the everyday (gasp) structure needed for a calm, prepared organized day-to-day LIFE that didn't come naturally.

But guess what I'm like now?! Nothing's more dangerous than an organized CREATIVE person! A creative person with a COACH. A creative person who can move ideas and inspiration into reality. A creative person with a clear mind to focus on developing whatevers best to do NOW.

A creative person who isn't afraid to fail because TRUE failure guessed it....the failure to even TRY.

What aren't you trying that you really WANT to?

Anytime we change our behaviors intentionally, it's that whole "practice" part that makes it work for the long-term. Sticking to it. Returning to the system. Again. Getting back on track. Again. My mind LOVES getting off track! But you know what? I have a newfound enjoyment in getting it back ON track. Recieving coaching helps the getting-back-on-track process so much quicker and easier.

My life has become dramatically more joyful and relaxed since recieving coaching, and I'm absolutely FASCINATED at how we make decisions in our lives, judgments about the outside world, and how that creates the reality we find ourselves in right at this moment. Pursuing photography as a business has been one of the hardest things I've ever done. Sure, I could have gone to graduate school and worked at a 9-5. But I just couldn't. I knew I had to pursue photography with all of my heart and mind, self-taught and blazing my own trail. And even though I occasionally attended groups with other photographers, at the end of the day, pursuing a photography business can feel LONELY. I know I'm NOT alone because I've talked to so many of you out there who feel the same way I sometimes do. Many photographers now have shared how refreshed and inspired they feel after our heart-to-heart talks about business. It inspires me too! This is the year to acknowledge that deep pull I have felt to talk to you about the psychological side of business, blog at ya about it, talk to you on the forums about it (like Me Ra's Soarority), and speak publically on the topic of passion & enthusiasm. One of the main reasons I sought out MindFit coaching was because it frustrated me that I had so much difficulty turning THAT desire to connect, into a reality.

But not anymore! I am nervously excited and relieved to share that....

I am training to add "Certified Personal Development Coach" to my repertoire!

I help photographers create a clear vision for their future, and providing support as they manifest it. Because whether you believe it or not, no one has to lose in order for you to succeed at photography. It has nothing to do with anyone else but you.

I want to offer four FREE weekly coaching calls to one individual who was inspired by this post today. What could you change in a month if you had Julie Watts to mentor you along? Just email me at with the title "Free Coaching" in the Subject line. I will read all submissions and choose the lucky recipient and contacting them by October 31.

Good luck! I would love to hear from you!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Emergency!! "Photographer Performs Ceremony" (or, "I still can't believe I wore that scarf.")

I don't think I've ever sent a text while I am photographing a wedding. But right after the ceremony of Casey & Lindsey Knopik yesterday at the Historical Orting Manor, I reached into my bag and sent this message to Katelyn, MUA extraordinare and owner of Salon Ish, who had been working with me that morning:

Me: "Katelyn, I'm not joking. I just officiated the wedding."

Katelyn: "Whhhhhaaaaaaat!!!"

I have always aspired to be the kind of photographer...well, the kind of person, who, wants to have the inner focus and passion and quick thinking to do whatever any situation requires. I really do secretly like living on the edge; I enjoy the rush of the pressure of wedding photography, and I have been focusing my intention a lot lately on being "in the flow" with where my dream of traveling to speak on passion, enthusiasm, and purpose. (I even spoke on a live tele-class just this summer on those very topics.

But you wanna know went down at Lindsey & Casey's Wedding last Saturday, right??!!


Well, it was a combination of faith and teamwork mixed together with suspense and a wedding to save! The officiant made an honest mistake and believed the ceremony to begin at 7pm. But the rehearsal had begun at 7pm; the ceremony was at 5pm. So by 5:30, there was some genuine concern building when there was no sign of the officiant and no one able to locate his cell phone number. "I'll call the Mayor," Dave, the owner of Orting Manor said, "If she's home maybe she will be able to come right over and perform the ceremony." Casey and Lindsey hesitantly agreed, as if it somehow meant reluctantly accepting the reality that this marriage ISN'T going to happen right now the way they have envisioned for months.

So as everyone is putting thought into what in the world to do at this point, still holding onto hope that the officiant will pull up at any moment...and I think to myself...

"Should I tell them that I'm ordained? I mean, I could do this....No, that would be crazy. They'll be able to solve this. I don't want to be creating one problem (no photographer) to replace the prior (no officiant)."

But as the clock ticked away and I heard that at this point it was about 5:38pm, and I'd already photographed a few more portraits of the waiting bridesmaids and bride, I found myself standing with Casey and his father, Al (who was also the best man). I had changed my mind. This problem needed to be solved now and I believed 110% that I could solve it. "Casey. I'm ordained, and I can perform your ceremony." You CAN?" was Casey Knopik's response...and within MOMENTS, I Casey replied with the sound of complete confidence in his voice, "Well then I want you to do it. At least you KNOW us."

Immediately plans went into action; Brandon Hansen, groomsmen extraordinare, readily accepts the daunting task of photographing the ceremony of his best friend's wedding. Now. With pounds of professional Nikon camera equipment loaded onto his shoulders, replacing his own um, smaller, camera. I threw it in "P" and said a little prayer. Brandon had absolutely NO instruction from me, except for where on the lens to grasp in order to zoom in and out.

Secondly, Brian Dilks, groomsman/brother-in-law to Casey-extraordinare, had the forethought to successfully locate some pretty fitting marriage vows via his iphone, which was the last critical piece necessary to pull this off without a hitch...

...once everyone was assembled, I did something I never thought I'd do in a million years...I walked up the center aisle, tall and calm enough, and turned around to face the guests. I welcomed everyone, thanked them for coming, explained who I was, what the current situation is, and what the solution we came up with was. I was answered by a wave of applause and whoops of good will! It felt so amazing to feel the support in the air!

As a photographer, I've been a part of over 60 wedding ceremonies. But to serve as the individual that leads the joining of a husband and wife...what an incredible honor! (And it was SO fun to get to be the one who gestures, "All Rise" for the entrance of the bride)

Check out these shots Brandon got? Turns out Brandon is quite the triple threat; beyond his groomsman skills and photography skills, he and Casey are journalism majors with a heart for sports...all you Seattle sports fans (of COURSE that's you Sounders FC diehards!) out to check out their sports blog, .

A quiet moment of calm earlier in their wedding day....

On our way down the block to Orting's Summerfest in full swing, again, hours before the ceremony.

And proof that the reception went off without a hitch...and in case you were wondering, no, I hadn't planned ahead of time to coordinate my scarf that day with the color of the wedding. That was the first time I even WORE a scarf to shoot a wedding (already wearing 2 cameras around my neck and potentially risking fashion-inspired mild strangulation, I mentioned to the bridesmaids earlier in the day that the scarf was "experimental"). lol.
Sometimes the universe just knows what to do, and you if you listen in and go with it, remarkable things have a way of falling into place.
More images to follow!

Monday, August 23, 2010

What are your Anchors?

Hi Everybody!

As I gear up for the approaching season of family and senior portraits this fall, I'm especially focused on keeping the enthusiasm up for the long haul. As a lot of you parents out there can attest, sometimes your energy wavers....for me, the last week before school starts again is a BUSY one. But does it have to be uncomfortable? No. Filled with Drama? Actually no. It's amazing how habitual the "back to school" scramble can feel. With the help of an awesome skype session with Allan Knight , I'm armed with a great technique to practice, and it's simple to do.

What are your Anchors?

Anchors are anything that help to remind you how to refocus and get grounded again. From an anchor-point, you can orient yourself to your passion and desire for your day, or your life. When I'm anchored, decisions are easy to make. Worries fall to the wayside as enthusiastic action steps in front and center. Using anchors instantly makes me feel GOOD chases away the fear, shows me that the pressure I might feel at the moment is temporary and in most cases, a matter of perspective...what a relief it is to realize that!

My newest anchors are jewelry with wings; these anchors remind me to stay in the flow. A tealight next to my desk reminds me that I'm worth life's little pleasures (it also reminds me I'm almost out of tealights!).

Special people anchor us family, friends, mentors & coaches...and whether we can be with them physically or not, really is beside the point. It's the way these people make us feel and fill us up that is powerful.

Music is a potent anchor. I have specific playlists with everything from meditations, to music to pump me up, music to relax and go inward with...

Hobbies can be anchors! For me, any game that requires focus is good practice for me. Throwing darts, playing hacky sack, and even running on a treadmill without falling off have all been activities that make me feel good and bring me back to center.

How do you feel right now, and what are YOUR anchors? Could you be using them more effectively to stay grounded and enthusiastic about what lies ahead for you? Have you fallen out of practice of doing something that really brings you great pleasure? Or are you feeling nourished and bountiful because you regularly call on powerful anchors that keep you balanced?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Rethinking Perspective

Hi Everybody!

I'm gazing at blue skies out my office window today and it can't feel much better. I have a two-part wedding boudoir session today; it started with the initial shoot several months ago, the "blonde" client. TODAY, months later, she is brunette and ready for shoot two! I've got a few tricks up my sleeve in terms of concept and I can't wait to surprise her groom with what we create today.

This entire summer has been one I will never forget. You know when you have those years that blend in and those other years that lift up, stand out as the benchmarks you gauge all other years from? Well 2010 lifts up for me big time. This is the year I began speaking and coaching on the psychology and photography business & "Passion & Purpose", as well as did a pretty sweet amount of traveling (Dallas, Kansas City, Canada, Mexico, Austria, Germany...San Fransisco and New Orleans left to go!) I photographed and met new family, new clients, new friends, and connected with old family and old friends. Traveling absolutely effects the way I think, and ultimately, the way I shoot. When I am lifted out of my computer chair and plopped down in a new environment, my wondering mind has new material to chew questions are delights emerge...

Everything that comes out of my mouth originates as a thought, and profound thoughts for me are born visually.

As we carve like a snowboarder into autumn in the next several weeks, begin thinking about family, friends, and who is important to you in your life. Is it time for me to create a family portrait for you to have hanging in your home for the holidays? Especially if you are one of my wedding clients from previous years, I'd love to create the next portrait you can't stop looking at.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Julie Watts Workshops

Hi Everybody! I have been totally preoccupied these past few weeks...putting lots of thought, energy, and passion into an INCREDIBLE Puerto Vallarta, Mexico destination wedding (assisted by one of my favorite photographers in the WORLD, Cam Colclough of Calgary Canada), a lively Capitol wedding in Olympia, WA, the STAND OUT PROM Masquarade Glam Shoot, as well as several creatively inspiring custom portrait sessions, all of which I will be sharing with you here on the blog in the coming days and weeks. But there's one item I am TICKLED PINK to announce because I've thought, talked, ruminated, dreamed, wrote, thought, talked some more about ever since I first heard this question: "Julie, are you going to EVER hold a workshop I can attend?!"

After almost a DECADE in the photography business, spending THOUSANDS of dollars and many MANY hours attending photography workshops and classes, and writing pages upon pages of soul-searchin' curriculum for you, I now officially announce:

I can't WAIT to share with aspiring, amateur, & professional photographers alike, what I have learned over these past 10 years. Ten years of conquering fears, celebrating successes, and learning more about myself through my relationship with photography than I ever would have imagined, back when I was "just a 24-year-old stay-at-home-mom, with a Olympus Z4040, and a baby on my hip."

Seats are limited to make it easier for everyone attending to ask specific, personal questions and for me to give specific, personal answers at the end of each segment. Call my Studio Line at 253.229.1818 or email me at to register! Don't wait!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Attitude Adjustment

Hi Everybody!

I took a well-appreciated Saturday off last weekend and did one of my favorite things--puttering around the house.
I wasn't thinking about running the business or sitting at the computer. I sat in the dirt in the garden and rode bikes to the "corner store" with my son. Thank goodness spring weather like this is becoming more and more the norm (though it's hailing outside right now!!).
This weekend, my mind was empty, slow, and at ease. But one chance encounter got it all wound up again. I ended up meeting an individual that made a strong impression on me. I could tell this person puts a lot of energy into convincing others and has obviously convinced themself. Of what, you ask? Were they enthusiastic about a great new passion? About the steps they are planning in an area of their life? Were they going on and on about the fear they felt but how excited they were at the opportunities on the other side? Hardly. Much of the 30 minute conversation I had with this person was blaming with a capital "B".

"I WANT to improve my health, but as long as (insert girlfriend, boyfriend, spouse, mother, dog, boss) doesn't improve either, I just won't be able to."

"I DON'T have (list 5 important things to having a happy life) because of (insert any of the above people) and the choices they made that effected me."

"I'm HELPLESS because (you get the idea here)."

At first, I listened politely. I even felt bad. I thought about how I could help. But I just kept listening. I saw that this person put a whole lot of energy into explaining why NOT. And not any of the reasons included THEMSELF. And they seemed to really enjoy sharing every detail of why NOT. It's one thing if someone is having a bad's quite another when they are having a bad LIFE. Apparently, not ONE thing in this persons personal, career, health, or spiritual life was even aiming in a helpful direction. If that was me, that would be pretty depressing. But this individual seemed pretty content with their truth they were so dissatisfied with.
Seeing this, I debated on whether I should even TRY to suggest that maybe this person could change things for themselves. I'm a serious optimist. I know opportunities arise for people in the most unlikeliest situations....but unsolicited advice, you know, is not always I chose my words carefully and as a result didn't end up speaking too much. I listened and I learned. By consciously putting myself in a "listening and learning" mindset, it protected me from soaking up some of the "ick" that I can take away after talking with a negatively-focused person or some who has emotionally dumped on me. Recognizing it. Naming it in your mind. That was the first step for me to realize that I was making a choice to stay separate, no matter how subtle and convincing those excuses sounded, especially with someone who has mastered the art at communicating them in a way that shouted "I think my life sucks, it's everyone elses fault, and don't you DARE try to blame me for any of this."

Like I said, they made a real impression on me!
Nothing is more disappointing than talking to a person that doesn't realize how amazing it is to be alive right now, here! Never in a time in history has the average person had so much access to peace and has never been easier to learn more about ANYTHING, speak FREELY, and custom-design a life around your own personal starting point. And to meet a person seemingly unaware of their personal power, to the point that they resist the suggestion of it. Man that sucks! We don't have to SETTLE for unhealthy relationships. We don't have to settle for an unhappy life.

In my early 20s, I started to recognize how attitude effects everything, the way I looked at the world started to shift, and that totally intriegued me. I wanted to test it. I wanted to prove that my "old" way wasn't so bad...but once I began to see the changes in how I felt every day, and how there all of a sudden seemed like there was plenty of good and exciting things to talk about, I saw that it was no joke.

Listen to what comes out of your mouth and how. Do you like how you sound? Do you want to change it? Simply can have a HUGE effect on your happiness and your enthusiasm for life. Have you noticed the same things, in yourself or people you live with, or at work? What do you think?

Friday, March 19, 2010

You are unique, just like everybody else.

Hi Everybody!

Today I just wanted to say that I am loving the Seth Godin blog post the other day about anxiety.

"Anxiety is nothing but repeatedly re-experiencing failure in advance."

I am loving that perspective because it is so disarming. As a business owner in this day and age, the amount of challenges, opportunities, risks, rewards, changes in this business increase constantly. As a young photographer, you jump on board thinking you have a decent handle on this new fascination of yours, only to eventually realize that this train has MILLIONS of stops, THOUSANDS of fellow passengers. You are drawn in by the well-written blog posts, the style of this photographer, the equipment proficiency of that photographer, the seemingly endless amount of creative inspiration everyone else seems to already have....sooner, more, better, faster......than you.

Sound familiar?

The truth is, you are unique, just like everybody else.

The truth is, you CAN find yourself in the mirror of others, but the instant your gut turns in knots or your "inner critic" starts whispering in your ear...then outside influence may be changing from constructive to destructive. Do not take it personally if you get caught up in this, we all do from time to time. YOUR true path, as you discover it, will make you feel the very opposite. The very opposite....

The truth is, we all start from a unique place in this world, and our journeys should not be compared, but celebrated, admired, and encouraged. Our footsteps are our own.

  • Don't assume you've failed before you've even tried. Don't assume you'll succeed until you've thought deeply about what success looks like for YOU. Not for Jasmine Star, David Jay, Joe Buissink, Liana Lehman, David Beckstead, Christy Pelland, Tim Willoughby and certainly not Julie Watts!

  • Spend as much energy discovering yourself and your expression as you do discovering others and their expression. You have FAR MORE to learn inside about yourself than you may realize. You are fascinating. But you have much to learn. Don't we all?

The truth is, the minute you begin to TAKE NOTICE of the minutae in your life that strike a nerve, you'll begin cut through the overgrowth of the overwhelming cloud of EVERYONE ELSE'S output. Restlessness lies in constantly intaking the output of others.

Dane Sanders wrote a whole book about maximizing your individual strengths if you are considering a career as a professional photographer, Fast Track Photographer. If you are surprised that only about 20% of what I do in business is actual shooting, then you just learned the #1 difference between having photography in your life as a business versus photography in your life as a hobby.

Photography can serve you on your journey in many, many ways. Relax and enjoy the ride, whereever it may take you....

This is me and the hubby in 1995 when I was enrolled in my first BW photography class in high school, when I "knew" I was going to become a clinical psychologist! Little did I know where I would be a decade and a half later....

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Chris + Brit // Kansas City Weddings-Sneak Peek

Congratulations to Chris & Britany, my cousin....who had their marriage formally blessed by the church on their 1st civil wedding anniversary, this past Saturday, March 13th in Kansas City, KS! Chris & Britany were married last year in the courthouse as Chris awaited a bone marrow transplant for leukemia...both of them have this old soul quality about them...I definitely see why each of them loves the other which is a wonderful side effect of pursuing my art...

...getting to focus on love and relationships definitely keeps me happy...and getting to know families and friends totally speaks to the part of me that almost applied to graduate school for Marriage & Family Therapy back at PLU. But fate had other plans so I became a married stay at home mom at 22 and my high school BW film photography days were reawakened as I took "electronic imaging" to fulfill my elective requirements in 1999. And yes I was totally afraid of Y2k and that I spent all this time in school just for the world to end RIGHT when I get my bachelor's degree in psychology, JUST because of some zeros and ones! haha

Don't worry though...I will be booking weddings beyond 2012!!
Shall I wrap up the point of this post by saying, we often lose sight of the negativity around us, if it's always been there. But others can see the effect it has on us, and we can too if we just make a point to watch out for it. We can insist on more peace in our lives. We can change up the routine. Turn off the TV. Do anything else. Life is too precious to waste a minute feeling bad about anything that isn't worth it. What in your life isn't going according to plan? What things, big or small, could you do about it to bring you more peace?

Monday, March 15, 2010

"I don't believe in weekends."~Richard Avedon

Photography isn't something I do because it's fun. Photography isn't something I do because dslrs are cheap or because people tell me I'm a good photographer. I have bled, sweat, cried and agonized over my ART I have created in this past decade as a photographer more than I have over my own children. What I am obsessed with is this vessel for exploring what I have to SHOW my children about who they are, who I am, and what ART is created when one soul's energies intermix with another soul's energy. "Your 8x10s are pricey" misses a very critical point of my existence. If I get asked that, I feel like a complete failure and go home and cry.-Julie Watts

It's scary to share that truth with all of you..... but maybe I should...I am beginning my new phase in my career of mentoring other people interested in photography and I won't lie to them.

Friday, March 12, 2010

How do you recharge?

Hi Everybody!

I'm about to fly out to Kansas City to photograph a truly special wedding tomorrow...and as I look at my desk and see the lists of things I wanted to get done before I left (which didn't!), I am centering myself instead of wasting too much energy judging my performance in the office this week! I had over one thousand pictures to cull from the Miss Pierce County Pageant on March 6th, in addition to regular office tasks and shoots!

I learned from my business coach, Karen Buckley, about how different people recharge, and it's been really helpful and I thought I'd share that nugget with you all. The basic idea is that some people recharge by being alone, going away, in the quiet and silence of themselves. Other people recharge by going "out", gathering around people, around bustling activity and getting pumped up by the collective energy surrounding them.

Well pretty much instantly, I could make a list of my friends and family and who recharges how. For me, it's a no brainer. I LOVE being alone "lost in her own thoughts" like the Pemco Insurance commercials say on the radio up here about the "bookstore waif"' you'll find so easily here in the Pacific Northwest. Though with a full-time business and full-time family, I'm not waifing around the bookstore a lot...I have realized HOW critical it really is for us to keep an eye on your energy level and mood, and recognize when a little recharge is necessary.

So I'm truly looking forward to the time in the airport and the time in the air today...ipod, pen and a pad and I'm one happy recharging camper.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sneak Peeks!! Portraits For Haiti

Hi Everybody!
I wanted to show you what you missed out on if you didn't get a session with me this past Sunday when I was involved with a four other photographers at Gene Coulon Park for Portraits For Haiti! We were blessed with El-Nino driven warm temps (for February that is!) and sunny skies...a perfect day to donate all of the proceeds of our 30 minute portrait sessions to a deserving cause.

100% of the proceeds from all of our donation-based sessions that day goes to help the children of Haiti. We raised over $1500.00 on Sunday!

This tickily moment brought to you by Portraits For Haiti....

Hugs for grampa brought to you by Portraits For Haiti.

And of course, this bench full of adorable wiggily grandkids brought to you by...Portraits For Haiti...Thank you SO MUCH to everyone involved...I'm so glad I got to capture these moments for you...

Back to editing all of these fabulous families' images!! Thank you everyone who made it out!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Senior Inspiration--Heck Yes!

Hi Everybody and big juicy HELLO to all the students out there!! I can't WAIT to see what we create for you SENIORS!

My big aim is to create an environment where you feel Comfortable, I feel Comfortable, and we can PLAY! Whether you LOVE having your picture taken or LOATHE it...haha nothing makes a difference like having an experienced pro goofily guiding your way. I rely on gut instinct and a rock solid knowledge of equipment and technique based on nearly 10 years of business, but you may just be surprised at how much I play during your shoot...and how much of it isn't stiff and static...

I make each shoot as unique as possible by talking with you and getting a feel for who you are, and what you are about. I LOVE taking your ideas and making them real for you...but rest assured, if you have NO IDEA what you want to do some of my best creative work has occurred in sessions with NO destination in particular in mind...

If you are one of the lucky ones who will receive one of my special FACEBOOK cards tonight, high tail it over to my "Julie Watts Photo" fan page and let's see what we can create together!! With packages ranging from $300-$2000, everyone can afford to have a fun experience and fantastic images of who you are right now...

What are you waiting for?! :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Hi Everybody!

So much has happened so far this year... I am so glad! This can be a cold, dark, soggy time of the year, so I'm glad excitement is in the air. I have two international trips scheduled this year and some really open and fun brides and grooms that I'm excited to get to know better. First though, remember back in 2008 and Christine & Travis' Surprise Engagement "Portrait" Shoot?

I wanted to show you a few of my favorite images from Christine & Travis' WEDDING last September, because they are some of my favorite images ever...

It was a beautiful September Saturday in Puyallup, and Christine's dad just saw her as a bride for the first time. As he started to get a little emotionally overwhelmed, Christine responded by leading her pops in a few, deep breathes. It was absolutely beautiful to have watched this unfold. Yes, I live for getting the epic gorgeous shots of my brides and grooms, the kind of picture I wished I'd had of me as a bride, but THIS stuff below? These spontaneous moments of connection have grabbed my attention my whole life and this is one of those images I could look at over and over and not get bored of it.

There's so much expression in body language.

That's what you are really asking for when you ask me if I shoot a lot of candids, I think."Will there be spontaneous moments captured where our natural body language shows our deep connection?" That's what I hear when you ask me that.

Seconds after a totally inappropriate moment between brothers. ;)

I actually have another Photoshopped version of the one above of Christine where I filled in her hair between her bangs and her temple. But I thought it would be neat to see the original before any PS.

There's a HUGE bigtoy right behind Christine above!!

And sometimes images are 99% perfect but that last 1% happened to be front and center...oops!

Alright sometimes I'm writing the captions underneath the images and sometimes above. I think in spirals and have to fight that sometimes!!

Congratulations Christine & Travis! To see their slideshow, click here!