Mikenzie Ryan Photography » Luxury and destination wedding photographer

Hi friends!

Today is a big day for the business, but even more exciting for me and my family! Let me start from the beginning….

When I found out I was pregnant with Attie, I started to panic about what that would mean for my career and business. Grey to Blue was more than a full time job. I worked 60 hours a week to keep everything running smoothly. But now that I had a sweet baby to think about, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to juggle it all. I wanted to be able to focus on Atlas and not start working 60 hours a week while she was still so little. Cue lots of crying, stress and meltdowns that ended in binge eating donuts and hot Cheetos. I felt overwhelmed and torn between choosing the business I’ve been building for over four years, and growing our family. Then, I met Kiera!

In November I helped spearhead a community project with the Austin Rising Tide group, which lead me to connecting with Kiera. We chatted, she reminded me of how we used to compete in tennis tournaments against each other, and we totally hit it off. So when I saw her posting about France Photography in the RTS group, I reached out to schedule a meet up and hear more. Over a cup of Moon Milk (shoutout Summermoon!), she explained how she worked with France Photographers, an all female team based out of San Diego that was opening a studio in Austin! I was already sold when I heard how Sara, the owner, is passionate about empowering women, but I was practically begging to be on the team once she explained how their freedom is priority.

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Instead of running a business on your own and having to tackle all the parts you love, AND the parts you don’t, you delegate within the team. For example, I can’t use Photoshop to save my life, but I can strategize on social media like a boss. Joining FP means no more Photoshop for me, and a whole lot more of Instagram! This helps free up my time, and allows me to continue running the parts of the business I actually enjoy! Not only this, but I will also be able to continue my wedding photography career while spending more time with my squishy baby! Really, it was a total dream come true.

Fast forward a couple months and I was able to meet Sara, who happens to be an amazing human, and graciously offered me a spot on their Austin team. I couldn’t be more excited about how great of a fit this team is, the community of women, the education of experienced photographers and the freedom that comes with working with a team. They have all encouraged me during this new stage of motherhood, and have done everything possible to make this launch smooth and as easy for me as possible. I cannot wait for all the future weddings, retreats and friendships that I know the future holds <3

From this point forward I will be shooting weddings and portraits as Mikenzie Ryan of France Photographers. I will still be filling up my schedule with beautiful brides, seniors and anyone else who may need a photographer! Now, what will happen with Grey to Blue?! In the future, GTB will become my personal photography brand. Joining FP means I have more time for my family, but also for my other passions! I will be starting to partner with more non-profits and GTB will become my business of photojournalism and non-profit work. For right now, I am focusing on my new family and my relationship with the ladies at France Photography, but GTB will make a comeback once things are settled!

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Thank you to everyone who has helped get GTB off the ground, succeed and become something I never dreamt possible. I couldn’t have had this opportunity without all of my clients and supporters, so I am forever grateful!

Stay tuned for more on GTB and make sure to follow our new journey with FP!

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Today we have one of my favorite wedding planners, and friends, sharing why it’s such a great idea to use a travel agent for your honeymoon! For a lot of people, this probably never crossed your mind, but Jessica, of Uptown Events, is here to share why this is a growing trend, and rightfully so!

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Booking your honeymoon sounds like a fun task, but once you hop online and start researching all the possibilities it can quickly become overwhelming! That is where a travel agent comes in, or as now sometimes referred to as a Travel Advisor.

As a professional travel advisor specializing in honeymoons, I routinely work with couples that have never used a travel agent before. With new clients I am constantly asked two common questions-

  • Why should I use a travel agent for my honeymoon?
  • What does it cost to use a travel agent?

So here are the top 5 reasons why you should use a travel agent for your honeymoon-

  1. Time Savings- A Travel Advisor will save you hours blindly searching online for the best deals. They know what is out there and know what to recommend for your preferences and budget.
  2. The Perfect Match- Your travel advisor will match you to the right destination, hotel, cruise, etc. When you call up a cruise line to book, they aren’t going to tell you that their competitor is actually a better fit for you, but your travel advisor will!

     

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  3. Insider Access- Based upon their past experiences and education, your Travel Advisor can get you into unique and special places you’d never come across on your own. They know about all the new trendy resorts and the hidden gems that don’t even have a website. Their inside knowledge will ensure you have the best trip possible!

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  4. Troubleshooting- Miss your connecting flight, lost luggage, possible impending hurricane…. Your travel advisor will be your safety net to catch you if any issues arise. If anything goes awry, they can step in to fix things and make them right.
  5. VIP Treatment- They will be able to get you extra value added amenities you can’t get on your own- welcome gifts upon arrival, room upgrades, free breakfasts, spa credits and more.

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And if this isn’t enough, the best part about using a travel advisor is that all of these services either require a very minimal cost or are completely free. Depending upon the complexity of the trip, a travel advisor may charge a small planning fee to cover the time they put into creating a custom itinerary for you. This rate is usually between $50-$250 total. Otherwise, you pay the same no matter if you book on your own or use a travel advisor. Hotels, cruises, and tour operators pay travel advisors a commission, so that is how they make a profit.

So between time savings, insider access, and my favorite- VIP treatment, all at a very minimal cost (or possibly none at all) using a travel advisor for your honeymoon is definitely a win-win situation for you!

I hope this has given you a better idea of what to expect when using a travel advisor. When you find yourself ready to begin planning your honeymoon, I’d love to help!

Thanks and best wishes,

Jessica Upton

Jessica@UptownEventsTravel.com

361-935-7009

www.UptownEventsTravel.com

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Ever wondered how to get your wedding to look like those in the magazines? I swear, it’s all in the details! If you want to have a pinterest perfect wedding, which, let’s admit, doesn’t sound too bad, you are going to need to work with genius creatives like Katelyn at August & Ember! Not only is she a total doll, but she makes the most gorgeous calligraphy products for your special day. Today she is chatting a little about how you can incorporate calligraphy into your wedding to make it beautiful, unique, and so special!

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From the expert herself-
4 Creative Ways to Incorporate Calligraphy Into Your Wedding Details

Although its roots are in ancient times, there’s no doubt that calligraphy is making a comeback in modern weddings. It’s one of the easiest ways to wow your guests, whether they’re discovering your invitation in their mailbox, or leaving your wedding with a hand-calligraphed favor. The art of calligraphy is here to stay, and if you’re interested in including some of those unique, artistic elements in your wedding, but aren’t sure where to start, keep reading!

1 | Invitations & Envelopes

I think we can all agree that invitations are a pretty integral part of your making sure your friends and family have all of the details they need to make it to your wedding, but they are also the very first thing your guests will see from your wedding. Invitations typically set the tone and formality of the event, and it certainly takes it up a notch to include your names, your venue, or even the entire invitation with handwritten details. By including envelopes adorned with calligraphy, it’s like sending a personal piece of art in the mail! I can assure you that your guests will feel special finding that personalized envelope sandwiched between bills, junk mail, and Bed, Bath, & Beyond coupons.

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Photo by Sealed with a Kiss Photography


2 | Wood signs

Wood signs are a huge trend in wedding decor, but I also love the idea of being able to use it as home decor once the vows are exchanged and the champagne is popped. Whether you choose to use a quote that’s special to you and your groom, your new last name, meaningful scripture, or something else, it’s just another way of having a tangible reminder of your big day hanging in your newlywed home!

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3 | Escort/Place Cards

Not only will escort cards give your guests a way to find their seat, they can also act as a keepsake to remember your big day. Fortunately, just about anything can be used as a place card when calligraphy is involved! You can get creative with different types of mediums, such as stones, leaves, agate slices, shells, or tiles, or you can keep it simple and traditional by using paper (the possibilities are endless!).

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Photo by Kristina Ross Photography

 

4 | Calligraphy vows

Admittedly, this is something that’s more relevant after your wedding (hint: the 1st anniversary is traditionally paper!). Calligraphed vows make a unique and special addition to your home decor, such as hung over your bed or displayed on your dresser where you’ll be reminded of the promises you made to your spouse each and every day. Whether you choose to go with traditional wording or write your own, your vows are always going to hold a special place in your heart and are incredibly important to remember as you navigate life as a married couple.

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Katelyn Truitt

Owner + Designer
August & Ember
@augustandember

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Hello World!

I’ve been so excited to complete our nursery, so today I decided to give a little tour of Atlas’ adventure themed room! I knew I wanted to stay away from lots of pink, and while I was tempted to buy everything in grey, I figured she deserved a little color (: So, with a little help from Pinterest, I decided on a dusty blue, lots of natural wood/baskets and peach!
Because we are planning on downsizing in the next couple of months (stay tuned for a big announcement!), I didn’t want to invest too much in a room that will soon be half the size. So I was determined to keep spending at a minimal, and fill her space with items that are special to us and I would want to keep. This made for lots of fun thrift shopping and craft days during my maternity leave, which you won’t catch me complaining about!

I started collecting items early on, because I knew I wouldn’t want to be stressed or on a time crunch at the last moments to make it all come together. I found the crib on a local site for free, the dresser was a Craigslist steal that I painted, our rocking chair is a hand-me-down from my grandma, and the white shelves are an old item from my moms garage! Luckily, this covered all the large items needed, and I got to spend/focus my time on the decor! Below you can read more about each item and where we purchased or how we made them! Enjoy!

This bow holder is actually a $5 necklace holder from Ross!

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 Normally I try to only purchase from small/local businesses, but this framed print from Hobby Lobby was a no brainer!

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 A small gallery wall (that took us FOREVER to agree on!)

  • Framed maternity photos and clipboard with a printable from our office
  • Empty Goodwill frame that I painted and we hung the first outfit we were gifted for Atlas in, using my grandmas old wooden hanger!
  • A couple of ‘A’s that were gifted to us at baby showers
  • “You are our greatest adventure” was a gift from my friend Megan at Peach Paper Design for our maternity shoot, and is probably my favorite item in the whole nursery!
  • Hobby Lobby print “Something tells me i’m going to love her forever”
  • Hanging feather piece. This is another favorite, and I actually made it! With Pinterest’s help of course!

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Empty Goodwill frame that I painted and we hung the first outfit we were gifted for Atlas in, using my grandmas old wooden hanger!

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Starting from the top, the world map tray was our guest book for both of our baby showers. Also on the top shelf we have her baby book and Freshly Picked moccasins. Below we have lots of woven baskets (Goodwill) that are filled with baby hats, extra bows, and wooden blocks. I then filled in the spaces with old books from my parents, a sweet little bongo drum from Tim’s mom, and other wooden toys! Hamper is a $10 purchase from Ross!

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Our super fancy Diaper Genie (sike!) and my grandmas rocking chair!

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This map print also makes my top three favorite items! Of Life and Lemons (etsy!) made the adorable print and I added a little framing so we could hang it without paying $30 for a poster frame. Plus, I have a slight obsession with the natural wood! The ‘Hello World’ swaddle is from Modern Burlap, another amazing small business!

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Hanging feather piece. This is another favorite, and I actually made it! With Pinterest’s help of course!

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These pink salt rocks are actually little candle holders, but I turned them on their side to make some book ends! Thanks Ross! And the Dr.Suess books are thanks to my mom who decided to keep ALL my books from my childhood!!

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Freshly Picked moccasins!

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Texas Old Town in Kyle, Texas is the perfect mix of elegant and rustic! The staff is beyond accommodating and the grounds allow for so many portrait locations! Kind of a photographers dream 🙂 Paige and Josh, high school sweet hearts, have been together for over 10 years. They’ve embraced all the highs and lows of high school, college, and now merging into the world together as a married couple! I’ve known Paige since my freshman year of high school, so I was so excited when she asked me to be a part of her special day!

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